Decks cleared for probe against Dinakaran

Decks cleared for probe against Dinakaran

Decks cleared for probe against Dinakaran

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Hamid Ansari has reconstituted the committee enquiring charges against Sikkim High Court Chief Justice  P D Dinakaran.

He appointed G Mohan Gopal in place of jurist P P Rao, in accordance with the Supreme Court directions to remove the latter from the committee, paving the way for the committee to resume its enquiry. Gopal is Director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

A Rajya Sabha notification announcing the reconstitution also said the proceedings can resume where it had stopped at the time of stay to the proceedings (the Supreme Court had stayed the proceedings following a petition by Justice Dinakaran) and need not start afresh. Justice Dinakaran had questioned the unbiasedness of Rao in the apex court. The committee will continue to have Supreme Court judge Aftab Alam as chairman and Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court J S Khehar as a member.

In a further setback to Dinakaran, a former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, the apex court on Tuesday quashed his petition to disallow participation of the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability to participate in the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha-appointed Inquiry Committee.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad trashed his plea by saying “the petition is dismissed.” The order has come days after the apex court rapped Justice Dinakaran for allegedly delaying the proceedings against him by raising objection over appointment of senior advocate P P Rao as jurist in the Inquiry Panel formed under the Judges (Inquiry) Act.  Appearing for Justice Dinakaran, senior advocates Amrendra Sharan and Ashok Bhan submitted that the NGO should not be allowed to participate in the proceedings of the probe panel.

Referring to different apex court verdicts, Sharan said the Chennai-based organisation had no locus standi in the case. He also contended that the third party did not have any right of participation, neither can it be allowed to participate in impeachment proceedings.

Hearing the petition for 30 minutes, the bench dismissed it noting that it would pass a detailed order later.