J. Venkatesan

One panel member has been appointed Supreme Court judge

Justice Sirpurkar heads the present committee

No progress made at its second meeting

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari will shortly reconstitute the three-member committee probing the allegations of land grab, encroachment and purchase of property against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran.

The present committee is headed by Justice V.S. Sirpurkar of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice A.R. Dave, and senior advocate P.P. Rao are the other members.

Highly placed sources told The Hindu that the committee's second meeting took place here on Saturday at Justice Sirpurkar's residence as per the earlier decision. However, no progress could be made in the probe since one of the members Justice Dave has been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court and only certain modalities were discussed. Counsel for the panel and Secretaries had been appointed.

Sources said that under the Rules, one of the members must be a High Court Chief Justice and with Justice Dave's proposed elevation, the committee should be reconstituted with another member. Only after such appointment was made, further progress could be made in the probe, the sources said.

Justice Dinakaran has not been performing judicial functions since December last and he has been recommended for being shifted, as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court.

Mr. Ansari would soon consult Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on a replacement for Justice Dave.

The allegations against Justice Dinakaran include “possessing wealth disproportionate to the known sources of his income, land-grabbing, entering into benami transactions, undervaluation of his property, illegal encroachment on government and public property to deprive Dalits and the poor of their livelihoods.”

“Abuse of judicial office”

He has also been accused of “abuse of judicial office” to pass “dishonest judicial orders” and to “take irregular administrative actions.”