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Panel rejects Dinakaran`s plea to defer proceedings

The panel had issued a chargesheet against Chief Justice of Sikkim HC PD Dinakaran for corruption.

Updated: Apr 10, 2011, 13:47 PM IST

New Delhi: A three-member panel, which
issued a chargesheet against Chief Justice of Sikkim High
Court PD Dinakaran for alleged corruption, has declined his
plea to defer the proceedings till he receives a response to
his request for certain documents from Rajya Sabha Chairman
Hamid Ansari.

The committee, comprising Justice Aftab Alam of the
Supreme Court, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice JS Khehar
and senior advocate PP Rao, has asked Dinakaran to respond to
the sixteen charges framed against him by April 20, sources
said.

The committee, which issued the chargesheet to Dinakaran
in March and asked him to respond by April 9, has made it
clear that it will commence the hearing in the matter on April
25 and will not give any further adjournment.

Meanwhile, Advocate Vagai, convener of the Committee for
Judicial Accountability, which is spearheading the campaign
against Dinakaran, has alleged that he was trying delaying
tactics.

The charges against Justice Dinakaran, who is facing
impeachment proceedings in Parliament, include possession of
wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income and
illegal encroachment on public property and land belonging to
Dalits and other weaker sections.

He is also accused of having five Tamil Nadu Housing
Board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, benami
transactions, acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings
beyond the ceiling fixed by the TN Land Reforms Act 1961,
destruction of evidence, undervaluation of sale agreements,
evasion of stamp duty and illegal constructions.

Justice Dinakaran has also been accused of resorting to
irregular and dishonest administrative actions by fixing
rosters of judges to facilitate dishonest judicial decisions
while he was the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He has
also been charged with undertaking transfers of judges and
appointment of staff illegally, sources said.

Dinakaran has been granted the liberty to engage a lawyer
of his choice to defend himself.

Justice Dinakaran was recommended for appointment as a
Supreme Court judge in August 2009 but the move was stalled
following the allegations against him.

The motion for Dinakaran`s removal was admitted in the
Rajya Sabha on December 17, 2009 following which the Upper
House Chairman Ansari constituted the panel to probe the
allegations.

Initially, another Supreme Court Judge VS Sirpurkar was
appointed to head the panel but he recused himself after the
Madras Bar Association and various lawyers` forums sought his
withdrawal on the ground that he had worked with Justice
Dinakaran in the Madras High Court.

While slapping charges against Justice Dinakaran, the
panel took into consideration various materials furnished by
the Income Tax department and Tamil Nadu government.

PTI