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Justice Dinakaran resigns as Sikkim HC CJI

Sikkim High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran resigned expressing "lack of faith and confidence" in the three-member inquiry Committee probing charges against him.



New Delhi: Facing impeachment on charges of
corruption and judicial misconduct, Sikkim High Court Chief
Justice P D Dinakaran resigned on Friday expressing "lack of faith
and confidence" in the three-member inquiry Committee probing
charges against him.

"Before demitting office, I must confess with a very
heavy heart that in spite of my constitutional position, I
have been denied fair opportunity to defend myself and my
reputation by the Judges Inquiry Committee," he said in a
two-page letter of resignation sent to President Pratibha
Patil.

61-year-old Dinakaran, a Dalit, also said he had a
"sneaking suspicion" that his "misfortune" was because of the
circumstances of his birth in the socially oppressed and
underprivileged section of the society.

He also said that he was a victim of media trial.
"You (media) have killed me, my family and my reputation."

"You called me a land grabber. There were people with
vested interests who said whatever they wanted. Media wrote
without verifying. Now you have achieved what you wanted," a
visibly agitated Dinakaran said.
Dinakaran is the third judge of the higher judiciary to
face impeachment proceedings. The impeachment motion against
Justice V Ramaswamy of the Supreme Court was defeated in the
Lok Sabha in mid-nineties, while the inquiry report of three-
member committee appointed by Rajya Sabha Chairman against
Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court is still pending.

Attributing his "misfortune" to his social background,
Justice Dinakaran said, "I have a sneaking suspicion that my
misfortune was because of my circumstances of my birth in the
socially oppressed and underprivileged section of the society.

"Integrity of members of these communities who attain
high office is always baselessly questioned through innuendo,
sneering and spreading of false rumours while the privileged
are treated by the vested interest as embodiment of all
virtues."

The Chief Justice whose resignation comes a day ahead of
the hearing of the three-member inquiry committee appointed by
Rajya Sabha Chairman to probe into charges, said, "I have been
very calculatively targeted at the instance of the vested
interests."
The Chief Justice also made tirades against the Committee
saying, "Orders were passed by the Judge`s Inquiry Committee,
consisting of this biased person behind my back on Sunday. The
committee recorded the evidence behind my back."

"It appointed a lawyer to assist, but in fact to
prosecute me on behalf of the committee. The said lawyer
collected evidence for fourteen (14) months, compiled 6,300
pages of documents, but I was asked to give a reply within 15
days. It is difficult to comprehend as to how 6,300 pages
could be read and answered within such a short period of
time," he said.

He said under these circumstances he approached the
Supreme Court which dismissed his "two hour arguments (on
framing of charges) in two lines".

Expressing lack of faith in the Committee, he said, "In
above factual background I am unable to repose any faith and
confidence in the committee and in their procedure being
adopted by them. I am therefore, of the firm view that there
would not be any gainful purpose in appearing before the
committee in spite of my innocence."

He said, "It is also obvious that hearing before the
committee is just an empty formality."

"In order to maintain the dignity of the office I am
holding and to prove that I do not have any lust for the
office, position and the power and to prove that I do not want
to adopt any dilatory tactics, I am submitting my resignation
and demitting my office," he said.

The apex court collegium had cleared his name for
appointment as judge of the Supreme Court when Dinakaran was
the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.

Dinakaran`s elevation was put on hold after some lawyers`
groups brought the allegations of corruption and judicial
misconduct against him.

Earlier, he was moved to the Karnataka High Court from
the Madras High Court. As he faced allegations, which he had
strongly denied, he was shifted to the Sikkim High Court.

The apex court on July 5 had rejected his plea to
invalidate the enquiry by a Rajya Sabha-appointed panel into
his alleged corrupt practices and misconduct and accused him
of adopting delaying tactics.

The court had only accepted his plea to replace senior
advocate P P Rao, one of the three members of the panel,
whose unbiasedness was questioned by him.

However, the court had held that it was a "calculated"
move on the part of Dinakaran to raise objection against Rao
to delay the proceeding which is to be completed within three
months.

The court had said reconstitution of the committee will
not hamper the proceedings and it shall proceed on the charges
already framed against the Judge.

The committee, appointed by the Rajya Sabha Chairman in
January 2010, is headed by Supreme Court judge Justice Aftab
Alam and includes Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J S
Khehar, besides Rao.

The three-member panel was to examine the 12 charges
framed in the notice of motion adopted by the House.

Dinakaran had challenged the proceedings on the ground
that the panel had framed additional charges and was also
independently conducting investigations and collecting
material against him which, according to the judge, was not
permissible under law.

The charges against the judge include land grabbing,
accumulation of unaccounted assets, passing judicial order for
extraneous considerations, following which his elevation to
the Supreme Court was also stalled.

PTI

From Zee News

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