Justice P D Dinakaran sworn in as Chief Justice of Sikkim

Justice Dinakaran was sworn in by Sikkim Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh at the Ashirwad Bhavan in the Raj Bhavan complex.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, cabinet ministers and top officials were present at the function.

Justice Dinakaran had been directed to assume charge on or before August 13 following a decision by President Pratibha Patil after consultation with Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia.

The 60-year-old Justice Dinakaran had been recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court by its Collegium in August, 2009.

The government returned the recommendation to the Collegium in December, 2009 after several top jurists objected to his name citing allegations of corruption and land grabbing.
In January, opposition parties had moved an impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran in the Rajya Sabha.

Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against the judge include possessing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters and entering into benami transactions.
The charges against him also include acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond the ceiling limit. Justice Dinakaran has denied the allegations.

In March this year, the Supreme Court Collegium had asked Justice Dinakaran to proceed on leave, but he did not do so. The Collegium then recommended his transfer to the Government.

Speaking to PTI after the swearing in ceremony, Justice Dinakaran said, "as the new chief justice my top priority will be to serve the people of Sikkim and ensure that justice is delivered to all."

Members of both the Bar Association of Sikkim and the High Court of Sikkim Bar Association boycotted the swearing in ceremony to protest the manner in which the Supreme Court Collegium and the Government of India had effected the transfer of Justice Dinakaran.

The associations clarified that it was not against Justice Dinakaran assuming office as the Chief Justice of Sikkim, "but against the manner and circumstances of his transfer, which, undermine the judiciary in Sikkim and in particular the institution of High Court of Sikkim."
The associations said, "the Supreme Court Collegium and the Government of India should take note of the fact that such act does not do good to the judiciary in India nor does it resolve the issues before it, but on the other hand it undermines the position of honourable Judges, the Judiciary in India and the Judiciary in Sikkim in particular and most importantly the independence of the judiciary."

Asked why the two major associations boycotted the swearing in ceremony, Justice Dinakaran said, "there are so many things said about me, but they are all lies, I have seen similar situations before.

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