New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday told Supreme
Court that the Rajya Sabha-appointed panel can carry out
further probe and frame definite charges against Sikkim Chief
Justice PD Dinakaran who is facing allegations of corrupt
practices and misconduct.
Brushing aside protests from Justice Dinkaran`s
counsel that the Union Government should not show any interest
in the proceedings, Additional Solicitor General PP Malhotra
said the panel is empowered to go beyond the original charges
against the judge.
Quoting section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act, Malhotra
told a bench of justices GS Singhvi and CK Prasad, "The
information at the time of the notice of motion may be vague.
It is a serious matter and you are going into the
conduct of the judge. Definite charges can be framed only
after collection of further materials and verifying evidence."
Former Additional Solicitor General Amarender Sharan
on behalf of Justice Dinkaran objected to the Centre`s
intervention on the ground that it "should not have any
interest" in the issue.
However, the bench told the counsel that Malhotra was
assisting the court hence the objection could not be
The ASG told the bench that collection of evidence was
part of investigation and once definite charges are framed the
judge can approach the committee to clarify his position.
"The collection of materials is to determine whether
the charges are factually correct or incorrect,"
Earlier, senior counsel UU Lalit appearing for the
panel, alleged that Justice Dinakaran had purchased over 248
acres of land in Kaveripalyem in Kanchipuram district where
there is no scope for agricultural or groundnut production.
Yet, he said, Justice Dinakaran had claimed a monthly
income of Rs three lakh from the lands by way of income from
groundnut and agricultural production in support of the
undisclosed bank balance of Rs 1.48 crore.
"He was masquerading agricultural income as a source
though there was no scope for production of groundnut or
agricultural products," Lalit said.