SC ques Dinakaran for delay in seeking recusal of Rao

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran for seeking recusal of one of the members in Rajya Sabha-appointed panel, probing charges of judicial misconduct and corruption against him, 14 months after it was constituted.

"You could have raised the objection in January 2010 when the panel was formed or later. We are not dealing with a person of ordinary mind. He is a legally trained mind," a vacation bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi said.

Justice Dinakaran, 61, pleaded that one of the three members of the committee, senior advocate P P Rao, should be recused as he had campaigned against his elevation to the Supreme Court which was later put on hold.

He said there is "reasonable" apprehension of bias against him with the presence of Rao on the panel.

The committee, however, refuted the charge of possible bias and alleged the judge is trying to "jeopardise" the inquiry against him by seeking recusal of Rao so late.

"The committee is of the view that recusal of any member at this stage would surely jeopardise its working," senior advocate U U Lalit said adding the Judge had earlier made allegation against some officers who were probing against him but he never said anything against Rao.

"There were umpteen number of opportunities for the petitioner when he could have raised the objection but there was not a whisper from his side for 16 months," he said.

He said there is a "monumental" task before the committee which has to be finished by June 23 and recusal of one member would scuttle the process.