Panel slaps corruption charges against Dinakaran

New Delhi: Sixteen charges of corruption and irregularities have been slapped by a Rajya Sabha constituted panel against the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, Mr Justice P.D. Dinkaran, who is facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament.

The committee comprising the Supreme Court Mr Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court Mr Justice K.S. Khehar and eminent jurist Mr P.P. Roy issued the chargesheet to Mr Dinakaran on March 16 and has sought his response by April 9.

The charges against him included possession of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, illegal encroachment on public property and land belonging to Dalits and other weaker sections, five Tamil Nadu Housing Board plots in favour of his wife and two daughters, benami transactions, acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond the ceiling fixed by the TN Land Reforms Act 1961, destruction of evidence, undervaluation of sale agreements, evasion of stamp duty and illegal constructions.

This apart, Mr Justice Dinakaran has been accused of resorting to irregular and dishonest administrative actions by fixing rosters of judges to facilitate dishonest judicial decisions while he was the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He is also accused of adopting illegal transfers of judges and appointments of staff, sources said.

He has been granted the liberty to engage a lawyer of his choice to defend himself.

Mr Justice Dinakaran was recommended for appointment as a Supreme Court judge in August 2009 but the move was stalled following the allegations against him.

The motion for his removal was admitted in the Rajya Sabha on December 17, 2009 following which the Rajya Sabha Chairman, Mr Hamid Ansari, constituted the panel to probe the allegations.

Initially, another Supreme Court Judge Mr V.S. Sirpurkar was appointed to head the panel but he was forced to recuse after the Madras Bar Association and various lawyers forum sought his recusal on the ground that he had worked with Mr Justice Dinakaran in the Madras High Court.

While slapping charges against Mr Dinakaran, the panel took into consideration various material furnished by the Income-Tax Department and the Tamil Nadu Government to justify the allegations against him.