SC mulls Constitution bench reference of Dinakaran row

The Supreme Court hinted at referring to a Constitution Bench the Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran`s petition challenging the impeachment process adopted against him.

Last Updated: May 26, 2011, 23:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday hinted
at referring to a Constitution Bench the Sikkim High Court
Chief Justice P D Dinakaran`s petition challenging the
impeachment process adopted against him.

"We are thinking why not the matter be referred to a
Constitution Bench," a vacation bench of justices G S Singhvi
and C K Prasad said at the fag end of the day`s hearing.

The bench`s remarks came after counsel Basava Prabhu
Patil and Romy Chacko, appearing for Dinakaran, argued the
Constitution Bench in Justice Ramaswamy case did not decide
the question whether a Parliament-appointed panel can travel
beyond the jurisdiction of the impeachment motion.
Dinakaran`s counsel also submitted no third party should
be allowed to implead in the matter as it amounted to
scrutinising the conduct of even the committee.

In an apparent reference to media reports and statements,
the counsel submitted a "parallel inquiry" was being conducted
against the judge even before his case was decided.

"When there is a public debate of a judge`s conduct, it
becomes difficult for the judge to function," Patil submitted.
He argued the judge unfortunately stood condemned even
before his innocence or otherwise was established by the
inquiry committee.

The counsel repeatedly said the Rajya Sabha-appointed
panel had exceeed its jurisdiction by framing 14 charges on
the basis of fresh complaints whereas there were only 12
charges at the time when the motion was introduced in
Parliament.

PTI