Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Monday told a delegation of lawyers from Karnataka that the Centre had been asked to probe the allegations of land encroachment by Karnataka Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran. It was up to the government to accept or reject the collegium’s recommendation on his elevation to the Supreme Court.
A group of lawyers belonging to the Advocates’ Association, Bangalore, led by its president K.N. Puttegowda met the CJI at the Supreme Court and presented a memorandum seeking the transfer of Justice Dinakaran to some other High Court and till then not give any judicial work to him.
Justices R.V. Raveendran and Cyriac Joseph were also present during the meeting. The delegation included former Advocates-General R.N. Narasimha Murthy, A.N. Jairam and B.V. Acharya.
A senior member of the delegation told The Hindu that the CJI pointed out that the collegium had no machinery to verify the allegations. “That is why we have asked the Centre to conduct an inquiry. It is up to the government to accept or reject Justice Dinakaran’s elevation based on that inquiry. There are many instances when the Centre has not accepted the collegium’s recommendation,” the CJI was reported to have told the delegation.
Briefing journalists, Mr. Narasimha Murthy said: “We met the CJI so that he can advise Justice Dinakaran not to preside over the court till charges are cleared. We also wanted him to be transferred.”
He said: “The CJI told us that he has requested the Centre to probe Justice Dinakaran’s land grab. We told the CJI that the issue is not only land grab but he has taken upon himself mining cases.”
“When the CJI told us that he had no power to direct Justice Dinakaran not to preside over the court, it was pointed out that Justice Dinakaran could be requested not to take up judicial work. Some of the senior members of the bar have decided not to attend his court.”
Mr. Murthy said: “We also impressed upon the CJI that the reputation of the Karnataka High Court is affected and requested him to save it. We told the CJI that we are sitting on a volcano and the patience of lawyers has reached breaking point. If Justice Dinakaran is not transferred, things will go out of control at the bar. This is not a threat but the actual position.”
CVC probe sought
Meanwhile, senior advocate from Bangalore Pramila Nesargi on Monday presented a complaint to the Central Vigilance Commission seeking an investigation into the allegations of corruption against Justice Dinakaran, a public servant as defined under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It alleged that Justice Dinakaran amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The complaint enclosed details of the assets acquired by Justice Dinakaran and his family members and the judicial orders passed by him allegedly for improper purposes.