Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Saturday said no procedure was violated in the recommendation to elevate the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P.D. Dinakaran as a judge of the Supreme Court.
In an interview to The Hindu, the CJI said neither he nor the collegium had a soft corner for him.
“We have not violated a single procedure in respect of Justice Dinakaran.”
“There is not a single allegation against him as a judge in the Madras High Court or in the Karnataka High Court. It all started only after his elevation was published in newspapers.”
Asked why a report was sought from the Tiruvallur District Collector, the CJI said: “The collegium has no mechanism to verify the allegations. When it was said that Justice Dinakaran had trespassed into government lands, we thought the revenue authorities in Tamil Nadu would be able to give a correct picture. What is wrong in it?”
Asked why the help of the Survey of India was sought in the second instance, he said: “When Justice Dinakaran completely denied that not a single inch of land had been encroached [upon], we wanted the Central government to conduct a probe and send a report. By that time the proceedings for his removal had started in Parliament. We have requested the government not to process his name for the time being. Now it is for Justice Dinakaran to defend himself before the committee [in the removal proceedings].”
He defended the collegium system of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary and said: “People who criticise the system must know that we have inherited the Supreme Court judgment on the collegium and we are bound by that decision. We scrupulously follow the judgment and every appointment is made after getting the opinion of senior judges [familiar with the affairs of the High Court concerned]. Unless this judgment is reviewed or varied or modified, how can we go against the collegium system?”