The Central government has refused to accept the recommendation made by the Supreme Court collegium to elevate Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
The Law Ministry has returned the file to Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan with a request to reconsider the recommendation made on August 27.
Though the CJI had wanted the Centre to conduct an independent probe into allegations of land encroachment by Mr. Justice Dinakaran, informed sources said that it was felt that no further enquiry was called for as there was enough material to arrive at a conclusion.
According to the sources, the Law Ministry prepared a report on the basis of material received from the CJI, to reject Mr. Justice Dinakaran’s name. The Ministry had inputs from the Intelligence Bureau also confirming the findings of the District Collector of Tiruvallur, where at least part of the holdings in question are situated. The report analysed the sequence of events; two reports sent by the Tiruvallur Collector confirming the encroachment of government lands, and petitions and complaints that came from various sections of lawyers.
The Law Ministry was of the view that since the material concerned questions relating to the integrity of a judge, it would be in the interest of the institution not to elevate such a person. The Ministry sent its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He agreed with the Ministry’s perception and favoured the view that the collegium should reconsider its recommendation.
After Mr. Justice Dinakaran denied the Collector’s report on land encroachment, the CJI had favoured an independent probe. The Centre could accept or reject the collegium’s recommendation, it was made clear.
During a recent press conference, answering a question on the controversy relating to Mr. Justice Dinakaran, Law Minister Veerappa Moily said: “We’ll not allow the image of the judiciary to be tarnished. The prestige and image of the judiciary will always be kept in mind.”