Judge Dinakaran will not move to the Supreme Court

For some months now, there has been a lot of discussion about the date of Justice Dinakaran, the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court in the wake of allegations against him of corruption, and of cornering and encroaching on public land in Tamil Nadu. As per the normal process of elevation of judges to the Supreme Court, the collegium of senior judges of the Supreme Court evaluate on judges from the High Court (typically based on seniority, so Chief Justices of High Courts are more likely to be evaluated) and then make recommendations which are passed onto the Law Ministry of the Government of India. The Government really has no role to play in the selection of judges, and past decisions of the Supreme Court have set up this practice.
In August of this year, the collegium recommended 5 judges from the different High Courts to be Supreme Court judges, one of whom was Justice Dinakaran. This set up a firestorm since lawyers from over the country, bar councils, as well as senior lawyers claimed that he had been involved in encroaching on land and using his official position to crush any protests against this. The pressure escalated very suddenly, and after some initial hesitation, there were probes set up by Government officials who practically confirmed that he had been guilty of this crime.

Now, the collegium does not want to back the name, but apparently knows that the judge is guilty of what he has been accused of, and wants the Government to take over responsibility by delaying or not approving the move (since the other judges recommended have joined the Supreme Court); now, the Government has indicated that it does not want another probe, and the net result is that the appointment is not going through (link to news):

Ending weeks of uncertainty, Government has rejected the Supreme Court collegium’s move to elevate to the apex court Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran in the wake of allegations of land grabbing against him and his family. Sources in the Law Ministry said that the file recommending the elevation has been returned to the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan with a request to the collegium to reconsider the decision.
Sources claim that the Law Ministry’s decision to return the file came after it found that various probes including those conducted by the Intelligence Bureau and District Collector of Tiruvallur were enough to deny Dinakaran elevation to the Supreme Court. Government felt that there was no need for any more probe into the issue as requested by the Chief Justice.

However, if the allegations against the learned judge are enough to deny him movement to the Supreme Court, it does not make sense for him to remain the Chief Justice of a High Court, but not sure whether anything will happen further on that.

1 comment to Judge Dinakaran will not move to the Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court of India is India’s best institution. Without it India would not be the democracy that it is nor the economic power that it is becoming. All should be done to ensure that this institution is not tarnished whoever is nominated to the Supreme Court.

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