NGO allowed to assist in probe against Dinakaran

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed an NGO to assist the Rajya Sabha-appointed panel in its ongoing probe into the charges of corruption and judicial misconduct against Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran.

A vacation bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi allowed civil society Forum for Judicial Accountability`s plea after it contended that earlier it had been allowed to assist the inquiry committee during the impeachment process of Justice V Ramaswami of the Supreme Court.

The apex court court, however, said the civil society would not be allowed to file its written submission and affidavit before the three-member committee headed by Justice Aftab Alam of the Supreme Court.

Besides Justice Alam, senior advocate P P Rao and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J S Khehar are the members of the committee.

Justice Dinakaran early this week had moved the apex court against the ongoing probe against him by the Upper House panel, contending that it has exceeded its jurisdiction in probing charges of judicial misconduct and corruption against him.

He had alleged that the panel has expanded the ambit of the probe beyond what was initially adopted by the Rajya Sabha motion.

On Justice Dinakaran`s plea, the apex court early this week had issued notice to the panel, seeking its stand on the plea.

Earlier, senior counsel and former Additional Solicitor General Amrendra Saran, appearing for Dinakaran, had also sought senior advocate P P Rao`s withdrawal from the panel on the ground that he was biased against him.

Saran had pointed out that Rao was part of the resolution passed in November 2009 under the aegis of the Bar Association of India to ask erstwhile Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan against elevating Dinakaran, 61, to the apex court due to various charges of corruption and judicial misconduct against him.

Saran had also argued that Rao was the part of the delegation which subsequently met the Chief Justice and made a representation opposing Dinakaran`s elevation.

The apex court had on April 29 stayed the probe by the panel after Dinakaran had expressed apprehension of a biased inquiry by it in view of Rao being on the panel.

It had also asked the committee headed by Justice Alam of the Supreme Court to respond to Dinakaran`s plea that Rao should quit the panel.