Source : Indlaw
The Supreme Court cleared the way for impeachment of Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran by vacating stay against the inquiry against him on the charges of land grabbing, corruption and judicial misconduct.
While lifting the stay, a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad observed that Justice Dinakaran's petition was motivated to delay the impeachment proceedings pending against him.
The apex court at the same also directed the removal of senior counsel P P Rao from the three-member probe panel headed by sitting Supreme Court Judge Aftab Alam.
The bench had reserved the order on June 1 after hearing Dinakaran's petition for five days. The government and the Rajya Sabha's appointed three-member panel had opposed the petition.
The panel comprising of Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice JS Khehar and senior advocate PP Rao was set up by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari in January 2010 to examine the 12 charges framed in the notice of motion adopted by the House.
Justice Dinakaran had challenged the proceedings on the ground that the panel had framed additional charges and was also independently conducting investigations and collecting material against him which, he said, was not permissible under law. He had also sought recusal of senior counsel PP Rao.
With the apex court today directing removal of Rao from the panel, Vice President Hamid Ansari will have to appoint his replacement.
The panel was initially expected to submit its report by June 24 this year, but now the inquiry report will be delayed.
Justice Dinakaran, whose elevation to the Supreme Court was put on hold following the media exposure of charges of corruption against him, is due to retire in May next year.
Justice Dinakaran was shifted from Karnataka High Court to Sikkim High Court, pending the probe and proceedings.
Find the Copy of the Judgment here.