Panel on Dinakaran has civil court powers: RS Secretariat

Responding to queries raised by it, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has told a committee going into the issue of impeachment of Justice PD Dinakaran that it has all the powers of a civil court.

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2010, 10:35 AM IST

New Delhi: Responding to queries raised by
it, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has told a committee going
into the issue of impeachment of Justice PD Dinakaran that it
has all the powers of a civil court.

The Secretariat has made it known to the three-member
committee headed by Supreme Court judge VS Sirpurkar that
for the purpose of making any investigation under the Judges
(Enquiry) Act, it has the powers of a civil court.

The panel going into the issue of impeachment of Justice
Dinakaran over land grabbing allegations was set up late last
year in the wake of Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari
admitting a notice from a group of 75 MPs in this regard.

The Secretariat gave the advice to the panel following
certain clarifications sought by it recently, contending that
some more details were needed before the charges could be
framed, sources said.

The committee comprising Chief Justice of Karnataka High
Court JS Khehar and senior advocate PP Rao wanted to know
whether the MPs who had signed the memorandum which led to the
motion being admitted in the Upper House would be able to give
the clarifications.

The 55-page notice, listing 12 acts of alleged
misbehaviour by Justice Dinakaran, was submitted to Ansari
under Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968. Barring Congress and DMK,
MPs of almost all parties in Rajya Sabha had signed it.

Under the Constitution, judges of Supreme Court and High
Court can be removed only through impeachment in Parliament.

An impeachment process against a Supreme Court judge
Justice V Ramaswamy in the early 1990s fell through when
the motion was not carried in the Lok Sabha.

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,
entering into benami transactions, and acquiring and
possessing agricultural holdings beyond ceiling limit.

Other allegations related to illegal encroachment on
government and public property to deprive dalits and the poor
of their livelihood, violation of human rights of dalits and
the poor and destruction of evidence during official inquiry.

Accusing the judge of abusing his judicial office, the
motion alleged that Justice Dinakaran passed dishonest
judicial orders in matters where he had personal and direct
pecuniary interest.

Justice Dinakaran, who has recently been transferred to
the Sikkim High Court, has denied the charges.

PTI