The Bar Association of India (BAI), led by senior advocate Fali Nariman, has appealed to the Supreme Court collegium not to elevate Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran to the Supreme Court.
A resolution passed on Saturday, at the end of a day-long seminar here on ‘judicial and legal reforms,’ said: “After carefully considering the allegations made against Justice Dinakaran and the subsequent developments, the Bar Association of India most fervently and seriously appeals to the collegium not to proceed further with its proposal to recommend him for appointment to the Supreme Court, and save the credibility of the judiciary in the eyes of the people.”
It said: “The question is not whether the charges against the learned judge are correct or not, but whether the appointment of such a person whose integrity is widely perceived to be doubtful would affect the faith of the common man in this glorious institution. We, therefore, request the collegium to put an end to the controversy immediately by a simple announcement that the recommendation already made will not be pursued further.”
By another resolution, the BAI said the collegium experiment had not worked satisfactorily and so an alternative mechanism should be put in place by a Constitution amendment. It wanted an independent commission set up to deal with appointment of judges.
The meeting demanded that the procedure for impeachment of judges be replaced with constitutional amendments as it had failed. Meanwhile, the BAI said, there was an urgency for an appropriate Judges Inquiry Act for considering complaints against judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily, who inaugurated the seminar, explained the vision document released by the government recently and steps taken for speedy disposal of cases.
The former CJI, J.S. Verma; jurist and law teacher N.R. Madhava Menon; Mr. Nariman; senior advocates Soli Sorabjee, Anil Divan, P.P. Rao, Ashok Desai, T.R. Andhyarujina, R.K.P. Shankardass, Dipankar Gupta and Lalit Bhasin gave suggestions on judicial and legal reforms.
Sriram Panchu, senior advocate from Chennai, made a special presentation on the Justice Dinakaran controversy with full facts and figures.