New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved
its verdict on Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran`s
petition challenging the impeachment proceedings against him
for alleged corrupt practices and misconduct.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad, which
heard the matter for over four days, however, felt Justice
Dinakaran`s objection to the panel`s effort to conduct a probe
into the allegations might be unfounded as it could even act
as a shield for a judge from fabricated material.
However, senior counsel Amarender Sharan and Basava
Prabhu Patil, appearing for Justice Dinkaran, insisted the
Rajya Sabha-appointed panel can neither conduct its own probe
nor frame any additional charges as it is prohibited under
Section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act.
"How can you say that? Supposing someone fabricates
documents and submits it to the Speaker or Chairman as the
case may be. The members on the basis of the fabricated
documents adopt the notice of motion. Should the committee not
scrutinise the material? the bench told Dinakaran`s counsel.
"They are legally trained mind who can detect the
fabricated material. In fact, it would offer protection to
a judge also from baseless allegations," the bench said.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari had in January 2010
constituted a three-member panel comprising Supreme Court
judge Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J
S Khehar and senior advocate P P Rao to examine the 12 charges
framed in the notice of motion adopted by the House.
Justice Dinakran had challenged the proceedings on the
ground that the panel had framed additional charges and was
also independently conducting investigations and collecting
material against him which, according to the judge, was not
permissible under law. He has also sought recusal of senior
counsel P P Rao.
The charges against the judge include land grabbing,
accumulation of unaccounted assets, passing judicial order for
extraneous considerations, following which his elevation to
the Supreme Court was also stalled.