SC Collegium insists on Dinakaran`s transfer

The transfer of controversial Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P D Dinakaran, facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament following corruption charges, to the Sikkim High Court now appears a certainty.

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2010, 18:44 PM IST

New Delhi: The transfer of controversial
Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P D Dinakaran, facing
impeachment proceedings in Parliament following corruption
charges, to the Sikkim High Court now appears a certainty.

The Supreme Court Collegium has reiterated its stand
to transfer Justice Dinakaran to Sikkim, Sikkim High Court
Chief Justice Barin Ghosh to Uttarakhand and Uttarakhand High
Court Chief Justice J S Khehar to Karnataka.

Law Ministry sources said the Collegium`s
recommendations have been forwarded by it to the Prime
Minister`s Office.

The government had recently expressed its reservations
over frequent transfers of High Court Chief Justices while
returning the file relating to a chain of transfers back to
the Collegium with a request to reconsider its decision.

In a letter to the CJI, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
had reportedly expressed reservations over frequent transfers
of Chief Justices as it could affect the functioning of High
Courts bogged down by pending cases.

The previous Collegium, headed by former Chief Justice
of India K G Balakrishnan, had recommended transferring
Justice Dinakaran to the Sikkim High Court.

The Collegium had also recommended transferring
Himachal Pradesh Chief Justice Kurian Joseph to the Jharkhand
High Court.

Chief Justice Barin Ghosh, who was shifted from Jammu
and Kashmir HC, had taken oath at Gangtok on April 14. In the
case of Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Kurian
Joseph, he had assumed office on February 8.

It is learnt that while the present Collegium headed
by Balakrishnan`s successor Justice S H Kapadia has now
decided against transferring Justice Joseph, it has again
recommended transferring Justice Ghosh to Uttarakhand.

As per the laid down procedures, if the Collegium
sticks to its recommendation a second time, the government
accepts it in accordance with existing conventions.

Justice Dinakaran was recommended for promotion to the
SC by the Collegium in August, 2009. But after several top
jurists objected to his name citing allegations of corruption
and land grabbing, the government returned the recommendation
to the Collegium.

In January, opposition parties moved an impeachment
motion against Justice Dinakaran. 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.

While he has been staying away from the Bench, he
continues to carry out administrative functions.

PTI