Apex court panel defers decision on Justice Dinakaran’s elevation


New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s panel of five top judges Sunday failed to take a decision on Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran’s elevation to the apex court, pending a fresh probe into charges of land grabbing and corruption against him.

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The apex court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan deferred a decision on Justice Dnakaran’s elevation, amid union Law Minister M. Verappa Moily assertion separately that nothing would be done to tarnish the image of judiciary.

Apex court sources said the apex court collegium conducted its meeting in the evening, and discussed fresh incriminating material sent to it against Justice Dinakaran.

“The collegium is examining whether in the documents placed before it there is any iota of evidence relating to corruption charges against Justice Dinakaran,” said a source privy to the development.

Sources said the collegium has sought information from the Tamil Nadu government on a fresh set of allegations hurled by Forum for Judicial Accountability against Justice Dinakaran.

The Thiruvallur district collector’s report earlier has already indicted him on the count of grabbing public land.

In its fourth representation to the collegium, sent Oct 23, the forum had made three more allegations against Justice Dinakaran.

It has alleged purchase of 4.5 acres of land in Ooty by him besides acquisition of two more housing plots from Tamil Nadu Housing Board in the name of his family members in violation of one plot per family norm.

The forum has sought CJI’s sanction for initiating criminal proceedings against Justice Dinakaran under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Sources said Dinakaran, who was here for a two-day national conference, has reitrerated to the collegium that allegations against him are not correct.

He had Saturday refused to make any comment, saying “silence is his only strength”.

Moily Sunday evaded a direct reply to a question whether Justice Dnakaran would not be elevated to the Supreme Court.

Asked for the government’s stand on Justice Dinakaran’s elevation to the apex court amid the allegation of public land grabbing by him, Moily said, “I will tell you we will never and shall not allow the image of judiciary to be at peril.

“The constitutional authority, which includes collegium of Supreme Court judges, and also the government will ensure that the prestige of the judiciary is always kept up and intact.”

“I reassure you that nothing will be done to tarnish the image of judiciary,” Moily said.

Asked specifically by IANS, whether his statement in response to another query on Justice Dinakarana’s elevation could be taken to mean that he would not be elevated to save the image of judiciary, Moily, said: “It is not appropriate for any constitutional authority to comment on it.”

“No, you cannot infer anything from the statement and you put a question on image of the judiciary and I said no. We would not allow image of judiciary to (suffer). It has no connection with any individual,” he told reporters after the conclusion of the conference.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court collegium had put on hold the decision on Justice Dinakaran’s elevation.