Finally, Dinakaran goes

J S Kehar is the new chief justice; incumbent shifted to Sikkim

Finally, Dinakaran goes

While the send-off for the outgoing Chief Justice will be low-key and muted, Dinakaran’s departure has happened after an excruciatingly slow process amid some vascillation on the part of the Supreme Court collegium as well as the government and a Parliament that has initiated impeachment proceedings against him.

Justice Dinakaran will be replaced by Uttarakhand Chief Justice J S Kehar and Sikkim High Court Chief Justice Barin Ghosh has been shifted to Uttarakhand as its chief justice. Justice Kehar will take charge before August 13.

According to sources, the Karnataka High Court was informed about the transfer after President Pratibha Patil signed the warrant of transfer.  
In a meeting in the first week of July, the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia recommended Justice Dinakaran’s transfer after discussing the references made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the transfer of chief justices of high courts. At that time, Singh had raised objections to the frequent shifting of chief justices of high courts.

The Sikkim Bar Association had opposed Justice Dinakaran heading the Sikkim High Court, but the Supreme Court did not heed those protests.
Justice Dinakaran, who has not been performing judicial work for nearly eight months when damaging allegations of land grab and other forms of corruption went public, will resume his duties in the Sikkim High Court.

Besides Chief Justice Kapadia, the Supreme Court collegium comprising Justices Altamas Kabir, R V Raveendran, Dalveer Bhandari and D K  Jain turned down the government’s request to reconsider the recommendations made on April 8 this year to shift Justice Ghosh to the Uttarakhand High Court.

The collegium accepted the government’s request to retain Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Kurian Joseph in the same court instead of Jharkhand High Court, as originally recommended.

In Bangalore, the legal fraternity welcomed Justice Dinakaran’s transfer with former state Advocate General and senior counsel B V Acharya saying that “it (the transfer) is undoubtedly welcome and puts to end all controversy that had been dogging the Karnataka High Court for almost a year.”

According to Acharya, the appointment the new chief justice will “usher in a new era” which will improve judicial standards in the state.

Advocates at the Karnataka High Court are not inclined to giving Justice Dinakaran a warm farewell, a formal practice that has been in vogue for several years now. Advocates’ Association Bangalore president K N Puttegowda said that several members were not in favour of giving a send-off, but a final decision will be taken after a meeting a cross section of lawyers.

Former Karnataka State Bar Council chairman Y R Sadashiva Reddy and former vice president Muniyappa were firm that Justice Dinakaran not be given a farewell. However, a section of advocates said that Justice Dinakaran “has been a victim of few vested interests and that he has suffered for no fault of his.” These lawyers have claimed that they would organise a farewell for the outgoing chief justice.
DH News Service

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