RS Chairman admits notice of impeachment motion against Dinakaran

RS Chairman admits notice of impeachment motion against Dinakaran

Rajya Sabha secretariat sources said due process will be set in motion with Ansari accepting the notice.

The Chairman is now expected to constitute a three-member committee comprising a Supreme Court judge, a high court chief justice and a jurist  to examine the notice and give its views before the impeachment process is carried forward.

The first step for initiating impeachment against Dinakaran, who has stayed away from judicial work, was taken on Monday by a group of 75 members of the Rajya Sabha, who presented a petition to Ansari.

The MPs belonging to BJP, Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United), Akali Dal and AIADMK submitted the petition to Ansari seeking impeachment of Justice Dinakaran, whose elevation to the Supreme Court has already been put on hold following allegations of grabbing of land by him and his family members near Chennai. No Congress MP has signed.

Dinakaran has denied the allegations and claimed they were "without any substance or without any basis". On the impeachment motion, he said it was not an end by itself and nothing could be concluded on that.

"I can only say it is an unfortunate situation. Unfortunate not from my point of view, unfortunate for not taking the entire reality and entire facts available on record into consideration," he told a TV  channel.

The 55-page notice, listing 12 acts of alleged misbehaviour by Justice Dinakaran, was submitted to Ansari under Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968. Barring Congress and DMK, MPs of almost all parties in Rajya Sabha signed the notice.

Under the Constitution, judges of Supreme Court and High Court can be removed only through impeachment in Parliament. An impeachment process against a Supreme Court judge Justice V Ramaswamy in the early nineties fell through when the motion was not carried in the Lok Sabha.

Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran include possessing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, entering into benami transactions, and acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond ceiling limit.
Other allegations related to illegal encroachment on government and public property to deprive dalits and poor of their livelihood, violation of human rights of dalits and poor and destruction of evidence during official enquiry.

Accusing the judge of abusing his judicial office, the motion alleged that Justice Dinakaran passed dishonest judicial orders in matters where he had personal and direct pecuniary interest.

The elevation of Justice Dinakaran has also been put on hold after it was mired in controversy. Justice Dinakaran also reportedly suggested to Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to set up a three-judge in-house panel to probe the charges. Justice Dinakaran later is reported to have later withdrawn his offer for submitting himself for inquiry before the in-house panel after he was told about the implications of his suggestion.