Jurists seek Karnataka CJ Dinakaran's resignation

Initiating criminal action against him will set an example
Last Updated 12 October 2009, 19:17 IST

Former Union law minister and senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan, who spearheaded the campaign against the proposed elevation of Justice Dinakaran to the Supreme Court, said: “The Chief Justice of India (CJI) should seek his (Dinakaran’s) immediate resignation and direct the Tamil Nadu administration to initiate criminal proceedings against him for intimidating government officials on the encroached land.’’

Action should be taken against Justice Dinakaran for allegedly threatening the Tamil Nadu Revenue Department officials as reported in the media. Initiating criminal case against him would set an example for the people, he added.

Former CJI, V N Khare, said Justice Dinakaran should be asked to tender his resignation. Otherwise impeachment proceedings should be initiated against him. Asked about disciplinary action against Dinakaran, Khare said the Constitution recommended impeachment in such cases.

Both Justice Khare and Bhushan are of the view that Justice Dinakaran could either be demoted or judicial work could be withdrawn from him as in the case of Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court. If he refuses to resign, he could be sent to a high court like the one in Sikkim, where there would be very little work, Bhushan said.

Senior advocate and former solicitor general Harish Salve said moral pressure should be exerted on Dinakaran to resign as impeachment of a judge was a very lengthy procedure.

He added that politics and political parties would play their role when it comes to impeaching a judge in Parliament. Strangely, Indian judiciary is yet to see the impeachment of a judge. However, jurists view that to uphold the independence of the judiciary, the government should not be given any leverage to initiate action.

“Whatever action is taken, it should come from within the judiciary,” said Acting Chief Justice of Patna High Court Nagendra Rai.  In a report to the CJI last week, the Tamil Nadu Government said Justice Dinakaran had allegedly acquired approximately 500 acres of public land.

Dinakaran is alleged to have encroached upon vast extent of government ‘poromboke’ and ‘Anadhinam’ lands, waterbodies such as lakes, canals and streams, common village pathways and an ancient mud fortress abutting his patta land.

It is reported that local revenue officials including the tahasildar, revenue divisional officer and the village administrative officer were allegedly threatened by Justice Dinakaran over the phone, besides manhandling government employees at the farm.

(Published 12 October 2009, 19:17 IST)

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