SC seeks RS panel's view on Dinakaran's charges
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought response of the Rajya Sabha-appointed panel on Sikkim High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran's allegations that the committee has exceeded its jurisdiction in probing charges of judicial misconduct and corruption against him.
A vacation bench of justices GS Singhvi and CK Prasad issued notice to the panel after Dinakaran through counsel Romy Chacko alleged that the fresh charges were "ultra vires" as they went beyond the original charges which was initially adopted by the Rajya Sabha motion.
The apex court had on April 29 stayed the probe by the panel after Dinakaran expressed apprehension of a biased inquiry by it in view of senior advocate PP Rao being one its members.
It had asked the committee headed by Justice Aftab Alam of the Supreme Court to respond to Dinakaran's plea that Rao should quit the panel.
Dinakaran in his writ petition has submitted that the committee cannot go beyond the charges framed at the time of the motion passed by Rajya Sabha to investigate the allegations.
He cited Section 3 of the Judges Inquiry Act that once the motion is admitted in Parliament to investigate into the grounds for removal, the panel has to confine itself to the list of charges and materials placed before the House.
"But in the case of Dinakaran the charges were altered by the panel and additional charges were framed, it was contended. Hence it should be quashed," the petition stated.
According to Dinakaran, the panel has also acted in violation of Articles 121 of the Constitution as even Parliament cannot discuss about a judge's action except with regard to his/her discharge of judicial duties.
But in the case of Dinakaran the panel was examining even allegations of alleged encroachment of lands by his distant relatives, it said.
It was also alleged that committee unilaterally advanced a scheduled hearing of April 25 to April 24 and rejected Dinakaran's plea for recusal without even giving him an opportunity to be heard.
"Hence any inquiry will be ultravires," the petition stated.
The apex court while issuing notice posted the matter for further hearing to Wednesday.
Justice Dinakaran is also facing charges 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.