The Union Law Ministry is to process the recommendations made by the Supreme Court collegium of judges for elevation of four Chief Justices of High Courts to the Supreme Court.
This follows a communication from the Supreme Court conveying the collegium’s decision taken last week to delink the elevation of the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, P.D. Dinakaran, from the others.
Sources said the Ministry was informed that the case of Justice Dinakaran was being put on hold and that it could proceed with the elevation of Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Ananga Kumar Patnaik; Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Tirath Singh Thakur; Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Surinder Singh Nijjar; and Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court K.S. Radhakrishnan.
The sources said the file would be sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a couple of days and after his approval, it would go to the President. The process was expected to be completed in two to three weeks before the appointments were notified.
Meanwhile, Justice Dinakaran is yet to send his reply to Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on the report of the Tiruvallur Collector that he had encroached upon a large extent of government land. However, Justice Dinakaran and his family members have sent affidavits to the CJI and other members of the collegium broadly denying the allegations that they had acquired immovable property at various places in Tamil Nadu.
The CJI and the other members of the collegium are expected to meet after Justice Dinakaran sends his response, to decide the next course of action.
With the retirement of Justice B.N. Agrawal, Justice R.V. Raveendran will take the fifth place in the collegium in the order of seniority. The CJI, who is on a visit to the U.K., is returning to India on October 18 and a meeting of the collegium is expected thereafter.
The Tamil Nadu government, acting on a request from the CJI, had asked the Collector to look into the allegations of land encroachment.
The Collector in his report alleged that at Kaverirajapuram in Tiruttani taluk alone the judge possessed approximately 500 acres of land and a vast extent had been encroached upon.