Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Thursday indicated that Karnataka Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran, who is facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament, will have to go on leave as per the advice of the Supreme Court collegium.

“The hand of law is quite long enough to catch anyone. I don't think Justice Dinakaran is above law or he is beyond the reach of the law,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after releasing a consultation paper prepared by his Ministry on a proposal to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. He, however, declined to make any further comments on the controversy surrounding Justice Dinakaran.

The collegium took the decision to ask Justice Dinakaran to go on leave following several representations that the work of the Karnataka High Court was hit as he was not performing any judicial work since December.

He had not been performing any judicial function after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari admitted a motion seeking his impeachment on charges of corruption, land grab and abuse of judicial office.

The collegium had also cleared the name of the Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Madan B. Lokur, to be appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.

Arbitration Act

On the consultation paper on the proposed amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Mr. Moily said the aim was to get the views of all the stakeholders and consequently it has also been uploaded on the website of the Ministry. Comments could be sent to Adviser to the Minister, T.K. Viswanathan at vnathan@nic.in.

The objective of the exercise was to ensure that there was “minimum intervention” of courts in the matter of arbitration, and to ensure that there were no complaints of any bias against the arbitrators. The document, which has been put together by senior advocate, S.K. Dholakia, has, among other things, suggested that the system of arbitration be institutionalised with the provision of proper infrastructure, including library facilities and that a fee structure be prescribed for the arbitrators.

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