Justice Sirpurkar`s recusal sought from panel on Dinakaran

A lawyers forum has sought recusal of SC judge Justice V S Sirpurakar from the Rajya Sabha appointed panel going into the impeachment issue against Justice P D Dinakaran.

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2010, 00:56 AM IST

New Delhi: A lawyers forum has sought
recusal of Supreme Court judge Justice V S Sirpurakar from the
Rajya Sabha appointed panel going into the impeachment issue
against Justice P D Dinakaran on the ground that the two were
closely associated as judges of the Madras High Court.

The Chennai-based Forum for Judicial Accountability,
which has been spearheading a campaign against Justice
Dinakaran, has petitioned the committee objecting to the
continuance of Justice Sirpurkar in the panel.

It has contended that he has been closely associated
with Justice Dinakaran when both of them were judges of the
Madras High Court.

The forum has sought his recusal on the ground that
the two judges had a friendship much beyond a mere
professional relationship and cited instances when both of
them attended social functions like marriages in each others
family.

The three-member committee constituted by Rajya Sabha
Chairman Hamid Ansari is headed by Justice Sirpurkar and also
consists of Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court J S Khehar
and senior advocate P P Rao. Their next sitting is on
September 12.

Justice Dinakaran`s recommendation for elevation to
the apex court was dropped after allegations of land grabbing
and misconduct surfaced. He was moved from the Karnataka High
Court to the Sikkim High Court as Chief Justice.

The lawyers body narrated events hinting the proximity
between the two and said there would be likelihood of bias in
the proceedings for framing the charges against Dinakaran.

"His (Justice Sirpurkar`s) friendly association with
Justice Dinakaran as narrated ..., gives rise to a reasonable
ground to believe that there is a real likelihood of bias and
that his neutrality as a Member of the Committee will be
affected by his friendship with and personal knowledge
/perceptions of Justice Dinakaran, thus impacting the
impartiality of the proceedings and its outcome," the petition
said.

The forum, which questioned the continuance of Justice
Sirpurkar in the Committee appointed on January 15 this year,
said it filed petitions on March 11 before the panel seeking
re-constitution of the committee.

"There has been no response to these petitions", the
forum, which filed the petition through its convenor and
advocate R Vagai, claimed.

-PTI