B.S. Ramesh

BANGALORE: The Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court P.D. Dinakaran, it appears, is yet to take a decision on going on leave as advised by the collegium of the Supreme Court a few days ago.

The collegium also decided to appoint Justice Lokur, Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, as the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.

Topic of conversation

Since the High Court had a holiday on Friday (Good Friday) and Saturday was a non-sitting day, the news of Justice Dinakaran being asked to go on leave became a topic of conversation on the court premises on Monday.

Groups of advocates were seen discussing the news. They recall the uneasy calm prevailing among the lawyers in the wake of the violent protest on November 9. On that day, advocates had gone on the rampage, locked up judges and disrupted court proceedings, demanding that the Chief Justice keep off judicial work.

Work affected

Many advocates told The Hindu that it would be in the interest of justice if Justice Dinakaran went on leave. Administrative work in the High Court had been affected due to the absence of the Chief Justice. Though he was functioning from his home office, it was not the same as officiating from the court, they said.

The Chief Justice, highly placed sources said, attempted to play down the stand-off with the advocates, saying that things had quietened now. He is believed to have conveyed this message when the collegium's decision, asking him to go on leave, was communicated to him.

Meet Chief Minister

Some advocates, who have been backing Justice Dinakaran ever since the row over his alleged acquisition and encroachment of government land at Kaverirajapuram in Tamil Nadu broke out, have met the Chief Justice at his home office and voiced their solidarity with him.

Asked whether he received any communication on the issue, Registrar-General of the High Court R.G. Budhihal said he had so far not received any leave letter.

K.N. Putte Gowda, president of the Advocates Association, which is at the forefront of the agitation against Justice Dinakaran, told The Hindu on Monday that the association would adopt a “wait and watch” policy.

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