RS admits notice of impeachment against Dinakaran

Last Updated: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 23:26

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari
on Thursday admitted a notice of the motion by MPs to start
impeachment proceedings against Karnataka High Court Chief
Justice P D Dinakaran over land-grabbing allegations.

Rajya Sabha secretariat sources said due process will be
set in motion with Ansari accepting the notice.
The Chairman is now expected to constitute a three-member
committee comprising a Supreme Court judge, a high court chief
justice and a jurist to examine the notice and give its views
before the impeachment process is carried forward.

The first step for initiating impeachment against
Dinakaran, who has stayed away from judicial work, was taken
on Monday by a group of 75 members of the Rajya Sabha, who
presented a petition to Ansari.

The MPs belonging to BJP, Left parties, Samajwadi
Party, Janata Dal (United), Akali Dal and AIADMK submitted the
petition to Ansari seeking impeachment of Justice Dinakaran,
whose elevation to the Supreme Court has already been put on
hold following allegations of grabbing of land by him and his
family members near Chennai. No Congress MP has signed.

Dinakaran has denied the allegations and claimed they were
"without any substance or without any basis".

On the impeachment motion, he said it was not an end by
itself and nothing could be concluded on that.
"I can only say it is an unfortunate situation.
Unfortunate not from my point of view, unfortunate for not
taking the entire reality and entire facts available on record
into consideration," he told a TV channel.

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 signed the
notice.

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 nineties 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 poor of
their livelihood, violation of human rights of dalits and poor
and destruction of evidence during official enquiry.

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.
The elevation of Justice Dinakaran has also been put on
hold after it was mired in controversy.

Justice Dinakaran also reportedly suggested to Chief
Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to set up a three-judge
in-house panel to probe the charges.

Justice Dinakaran later is reported to have later
withdrawn his offer for submitting himself for inquiry before
the in-house panel after he was told about the implications of
his suggestion.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 23:26

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