SC relief for Dinakaran

SC relief for Dinakaran

SC relief for Dinakaran

A Bench of Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad  issued notices to the registrar of the inquiry committee, Rajya Sabha chairman and to senior advocate P P Rao on the petition filed by Justice Dinakaran, former chief justice of the Karnataka High Court.

Dinakaran urged the apex court to declare the proceedings conducted by the inquiry committee as null and void.

The Bench sought responses within two weeks on the petition which would now be listed before the vacation Bench.

Appearing for 61-year-old Dinakaran, senior advocate Amrendar Saran submitted that one of the members of the inquiry committee appointed under the Judges (Inquiry) Act 1968 was biased against him.

The panel is headed by Supreme Court judge Justice Aftab Alam and comprises Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J S Kehar and Rao.

“Respondent number three (Rao) was one of the signatories of the complaint sent to the President,” Dinakaran’s counsel submitted. “Even apprehension of bias is sufficient for his removal,” he said.

Justice Dinakaran’s purported elevation to the Supreme Court was stalled following complaints of land grabbing and corruption.

“Rao, one of the members of the judges inquiry committee constituted to inquire into the allegations against the petitioner, had campaigned and complained against the petitioner before the constitutional authorities and opposed the elevation of the petitioner to the apex court as a judge,” Dinakaran’s petition claimed. Rao was a member of the committee that has framed 16 charges against him.

Justice Dinakaran had termed the charges against him as “false, perverse and malicious.”
The committee, which was holding day-to-day proceedings, rejected Dinakaran’s plea against Rao on April 24 on the ground that the decision would jeopardise the functioning of the committee and would make it difficult to conclude the inquiry within the stipulated time.

It had also advised Rao to continue though he had offered to recuse himself from the committee in view of Dinakaran’s apprehension.

“Once the member who is alleged to be biased against the Judge himself offered to recuse from serving as a member of the committee, any order compelling him to continue is fraught with disastrous consequences impinging on the fundamental rights of the judge,” Justice Dinakaran said.

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