President of the Bar Association of India Fali Nariman and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) M.N. Krishnamani on Wednesday met Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, and presented a memorandum requesting him not to elevate Karnataka Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran to the Supreme Court.
Though a delegation of senior lawyers like Soli Sorabjee, K.K. Venugopal, Ashok Desai and others from Bangalore and Chennai also wanted to meet him, only Mr. Nariman and Mr. Krishnamani met the CJI.
Speaking to The Hindu later, Mr. Krishnamani said the CJI told them that their request would be placed before the Supreme Court collegium.
The SCBA memorandum — signed by over 50 lawyers including Ram Jethmalani — pointed out that the Tiruvallur District Collector in Tamil Nadu, in two reports sent to the CJI, found Justice Dinakaran guilty of encroaching government land. The people of the village had filed a police complaint against the alleged encroachment of land by Justice Dinakaran.
“Apart from the allegation of illegal encroachment, there are other serious allegations of manipulations and acquisitions of enormous wealth by Justice Dinakaran. From what happened in Bangalore and elsewhere, as reported in the press, there is a clear public perception that Justice Dinakaran is a person of doubtful integrity,” the memorandum said.
“Even an ordinary public servant, when he gets his ACR with the remark ‘doubtful integrity,’ is not confirmed or promoted. At the Supreme Court level, we expect honesty and impeccable integrity. The judge at Supreme Court level is like Caesar’s wife and should be beyond suspicion,” it added.
The signatories said “the public perception, from what is being reported in the press so far, clearly appears to be that Justice Dinakaran is not a man of integrity and that at least there is an air of suspicion about his integrity. And as such Justice Dinakaran is not a person fit to hold the post of a judge in the higher judiciary.”
The memorandum added: “We are apprehensive that if a person with doubtful integrity is appointed to the highest position in the judiciary, the people of this great country may slowly lose their faith in the judiciary itself, which is the only ray of hope for the people. We therefore request the Supreme Court collegium, the Prime Minister and the President of India not to appoint Justice Dinakaran to the prestigious position of judge in the Apex Court, in the larger interests of the institution.”