The Forum for Judicial Accountability on Saturday said the probe by Survey of India officials into the alleged encroachment on government land by Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran was an intrusion into the powers of Parliament and breach of parliamentary privileges.
In a statement here, advocates Vaigai, Sriram Panchu, Geetha Ramaseshan, Sudha Ramalingam and others urged the Centre to recall the three-member team deputed by the Survey of India.
“Await the outcome of the enquiry under the impeachment proceedings and refrain from in any manner interfering or influencing the outcome of the constitutional process,” they said.
On December 17, Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari admitted a motion moved by 76 MPs seeking the removal of Justice Dinakaran for alleged acts of “misbehaviour” including corruption, land grab and abuse of judicial office.
The advocates said that as per procedure the Chairman would appoint a committee comprising a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of a High Court and an eminent jurist under Sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 to go into the charges.
In support of their argument, the advocates recalled two reports. The first report, they said, was that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed with the Law Ministry that no enquiry was called for since the Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges gave no such power to the executive.
The Law Ministry had prepared a report on the basis of the material received from the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and inputs from the Intelligence Bureau, confirming the findings of the Collector of Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu, to reject Justice Dinakaran’s name for elevation to the Supreme Court.
The second report was that CJI K.G. Balakrishnan himself stated that there was no question of the Supreme Court collegium recommending the elevation of Justice Dinakaran when the impeachment motion was pending in Parliament
“Thus, if the issue is not before the Supreme Court collegium or before the Prime Minister or the Law Minister, who are the Constitutional authorities then at whose instance and under which ‘procedure’ is this ‘probe’ being conducted,?” the advocates said.
“Further, when removal of fence and destruction of evidence of encroachment by Justice Dinakaran two months ago has been widely reported, the exercise by the team of experts to examine a now non-existent encroachment through a ‘discreet’ enquiry and without hearing the villagers [of Kaverirajapuram] is destined to be a farce,” the Forum said.