Source : The Hindu
Justice P.D. Dinakaran on Wednesday raised a preliminary objection before the three-member panel, which is probing charges of corruption, land-grab and abuse of judicial office against him, demanding that one of its members, senior advocate P.P. Rao, recuse himself. Justice Dinakaran alleged that he was biased.
The panel, which included Justice Aftab Alam of the Supreme Court and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, had issued the charge sheet to Justice Dinakaran in March, seeking his response by Wednesday.
Justice Dinakaran said he had already written to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on April 8 saying Mr. Rao should not remain on the committee. But Mr. Ansari had not responded to his objection. Justice Dinakaran said Mr. Rao was part of a delegation of lawyers which met the then Chief Justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, in 2009 to oppose his elevation to the Supreme Court. Further, he said, the committee had acted beyond the scope and jurisdiction of the Judges (Inquiry) Act by conducting an investigation before the framing of charges.
Justice Dinakaran said the panel could not go beyond what was contained in the motion admitted in the Rajya Sabha, and that it had no jurisdiction to examine witnesses at the pre-enquiry stage.
Also, the panel was acting in an unconstitutional manner, levelling allegations against his family members, who had no nexus to the discharge of his judicial and administrative duties.
Justice Dinakaran alleged that the panel had contravened Articles 124 and 121, raking up personal issues against him and his family, even though the constitutional provisions expressly barred any such reference of a High Court or Supreme Court judge's personal life.
The committee will hear his objections on April 25.
The charges against Justice Dinakaran were levelled when he was Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. He was subsequently transferred to the Sikkim High Court.