New Delhi: Justice V S Sirpurkar, who heads
the Rajya Sabha-appointed panel going into the impeachment
issue against Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran,
today recused himself from hearing the case in the backdrop of
questions raised on his neutrality by an advocacy group.
Sirpurkar, a senior Supreme Court judge, met Rajya Sabha
Chairman and Vice President Hamid Ansari requesting that he be
recused from the panel.
Sources said that Ansari has asked Chief Justice of India
S H Kapadia to nominate a panel of judges from which he could
select a judge to replace Sirpurkar.
Ansari had set up a three-member committee headed by
Sirpurkar in January to go into the impeachment of Justice
Dinakaran, a demand for which was made by 75 members of the
Besides Sirpurkar, the panel comprises Chief Justice of
Karnataka High Court J S Khehar and senior advocate P P Rao.
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 Sirpurkar has been closely
associated with Justice Dinakaran when both of them were
judges of the Madras High Court.
Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against
Justice Dinakaran include possessing wealth disproportionate
to known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing
board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters and
entering into benami transactions.
The charges against him also include acquiring and
possessing agricultural holdings beyond the ceiling limit.
Justice Dinakaran has refuted the allegations.
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.