If he is unfit for SC, how is he fit for Karnataka—II

Cartoon

The Strange Case of Justice P.D. Dinakaran” is getting stranger.

Rewind: the name of the chief justice of the Karnataka high court is recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court, reportedly without two members of the SC collegium being consulted. Then a brouhaha breaks out over Dinakaran’s assets. He denies the allegation but drops out of a tour to Australia.

Meanwhile, there is an execrable attempt to paint the scandal as a conspiracy against Dalits.

The Karnataka bar decides to boycott court proceedings where Justice Dinakaran is present till his name is cleared. Last Monday, the advocate-general of Karnataka, Ashok Harnahalli, supports Dinakaran, saying the media reports tranished the image of both the judiciary and the chief justice.

Now, with reports emerging that the Thiruvalluvar district collector had submitted an “unfavourable report” on Justice Dinakaran’s land holdings (according to media reports, justice Dinakaran and his family members hold approximately 450 acres, about 200 acres of which are encroached government lands), the same Ashok Harnahalli has done an about-turn.

“Even if there is prima facie [evidence of irregularity], I would be able to say that the Chief Justice step down. But as advocate general it would not be right on my part to do so until that satisfaction is expressed by the CJI and Supreme Court Collegium,” Harnahalli says.

As is his wont, the law minister Veerappa Moily first indicated that the Supreme Court collegium was unlikely to nominate Justice P.D. Dinakaran and then quickly recanted.

But the fundamental question remains the one asked by Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhavan in the Delhi tabloid Mail Today three weeks ago:

“If Justice Dinakaran is not fit to be a Supreme Court judge, why is he fit to be a High Court judge? Did the collegium slip up when they made him chief justice of Karnataka? Or, indeed, when he was appointed a judge?…”

Cartoon: courtesy Prasad Radhakrishnan/ Mail Today

Also read: The strange case of Justice P.D. Dinakaran

CHURUMURI POLL: Is Dalit Dinakaran above the law?

If he is unfit for Supreme Court, how is he fit for Karnataka HC?

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16 Responses to “If he is unfit for SC, how is he fit for Karnataka—II”

  1. ರಾಜ Says:

    ಇವರೇ ಅಲ್ವ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮದ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ತೀರ್ಪು ಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು .
    I think he should not be allowed inside Karnataka. If Yeddy brings Aaram Porul and Inbum statues, again softening stand against Tamils he also should be brought down.
    Karnataka High Court should not report to Indian Court as first step.

  2. dharma Says:

    Dalit Dinakaran is above the law?
    He is a Congress man, so he is.

  3. Mahesh R Says:

    Having brought up in the rural Kaverirajapuram in Thiruvallur district, all that I can say is that the “D Company” has been ‘the law’ for decades. Despite so many futile complaints, he has successfully pocketed politicians of every party and the powers that run our democracy.
    It is really strange to note the extremes of corruption and injustice now being brought to light. Sadly the person is still in legal robes, despite the various law associations passing unanimous resolutions requesting for a boycott of the ‘Justice’!

  4. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    The jolly good judiciary famous for its n+1 days of vacation, and the Bar famous for its boycotts and abstaining from proceeding for reasons trivial and sundry, I would not blame the AG to get appalled at such a resolution of the State Bar Council!

    I believe the McCarthy-like attitude of the preset regime is the cause for this faux pas. Just like anointing their stooges as Governors, they want every possible position to be infested with their own people!

  5. punda Says:

    Kannada maadyama virudda teerpu kotiddy Cyriac Joseph alva?
    Ivare sahebru Statue vishayadalli teerpu koTiddu.

  6. Chidu Says:

    Its our tragedy that such tainted Judges are trust upon to head our state judiciary in the time when the law minister hails from the same state.Any judge worth his salt in the state should have opposed the appointment of Justice dinakaran and uphold the standard of justice that the people of karnataka deserve.Its regrettable to say that the politicians from the state are spineless and shame less to have allowed such a appointment to take place even when they couldnt find a man from our state to head.Atleast get honest bright people to head not the corrupt and language chavunists from neighbouring state.I hope many more people from the state join together in demanding quality people and not put up with whats thrust upon them by dominating and mean politicians at the centre from neighbouring state.

  7. Lakshmi Says:

    Despite obscene irregularities, forceful land encroachment, illegal buildings and ruthless corruption, a few days back none other than the State Advocate General Ashok Harnahallli was a supporter of Dinakaran, completely ignoring the critical resolutions passed by none other than the Tamil Nadu Bar, Karnataka State Bar Council and the Advocates Association of Bangalore! Quoted in The Hindu on Oct 4, Ashok’s key reason was ““It is you today, it could be us tomorrow” In fact, he went on the record urging Dinakaran to sit on the Bench and conduct the proceedings. It now makes sense for the honourable CJ of India and the Collegium to include Ashok, Pavin..etc and investigate their obvious nexus with Dinakaran.

    Well, thanks to the support offered by Ashok Harnahallli, the proceedings were indeed conducted by Dinakaran on Monday: finishing off 27 major cases in mere 24 minutes, hold your breath, it is a Guinness World Record! Call it arrogance or defiance or supreme confidence or whatever.

    Interestingly the Tiruvallur District Revenue Officer G. Mohanasundaram has just sent an adverse report to the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on tangible evidence of land grabbing and corruption and is now being begged by landless farmers to redistribute 100s of acres of encroached and surplus land holdings of the D-Company. Perhaps it is not a mere coincidence to notice Ashok Harnahallli, Moily and others trying to disassociate themselves all of a sudden, from the entire case!

    All said and done, this extraordinary jinxed case apart from being a precedent, is definitely going to blow up and cause a lot of embarrassment to everyone involved.

  8. Alok Says:

    This is the CJI’s third strike in terms of embarassing himself and the office of the CJI over the last one year or so.

    First there was the embarassing faux pas where he incorrectly stated the legal position on whether judges were “public servants” for the purposes of the RTI. Coupled with his staunch refusal to even point out whether judges were declaring assets to him or not (let alone the content of the declaration) raised doubts over the transparency of the highest Court in this country.

    Second was his poor reaction to Justice Shylendra Kumar’s decision to put up his assets public. After berating him for being “publicity hungry”, the CJI was forced to change his opinion after a storm of outrage from all quarters. Add to this the hasty promise to reveal all asset declarations on the SC website in one month (a deadline since missed), his mishandling of this has dented the credibility of the office of the CJI.

    Third, and most seriously, was his attempt to elevate PD Dinakaran despite strong rumours of PDD’s shady dealings. By trying to elevate him to the Supreme Court, the CJI only forced the hand of concerned authorities and made them go (very) public with the allegations seriously damaging the image of the Supreme Court and the higher judiciary. That there were “bad eggs” here and there was a poorly kept secret, but his handling of the Dinakaran elevation has highlighted institutional failings of the Supreme Court and only heightened the growing fear among the public that the Supreme Court is no more the trustworthy body that it once was, and is no less corrupt than other failed institutions of the State.

    Unless something dramatic happens over the next 6 months, KG Balakrishnan’s term as India’s first Dalit CJI is not likely to be remembered in history for the right reasons.

  9. Freethinker Says:

    The persons who recommended his name for Judgship in the first place have to be held accountable, they owe us an explanation and appology.

    Besides do not forget Mr. D, sat with a brother judge at Karnataka, and passed orders. This BROTHER JUDGE should offer an explanation…..

    Lastly, AG and his cronies have to explain their unconditional support to Mr.D, and terming allegations against him as lacking merit!!!

  10. S Mubani Says:

    Excellent comments by Alok and Lakshmi.

    When asked for his comments on caste and politics being conveniently mixed into a case of corruption and misuse of public office, eminent jurist and former attorney general of India Soli J Sorabjee mentioned at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bangalore “The chief justice of supreme court himself belongs to scheduled caste. Why can’t we think of merit? What we are concerned with is the integrity of the chief justice and corruption” He added “The Dinakaran case has tarnished the judiciary across the board and he must step down”

    On the same issue, the former Chief Justice of India Justice K N Singh said that if the serious allegations against Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran were proved, it will seriously damage the image of Constitutional office of the Chief Justice and the judiciary at large. Now that the Tamil Nadu government has sent a very adverse official report with tangible proof of corruption, ruthless encroachments of land belonging to poor dalits..etc, there is obviously nothing more to be proven.

    Well, considering the serious repercussions of this case not to mention the long term damage created, the collegium of the Supreme Court must request the Govt (CBI) to start an Independent investigation that leads to swift prosecution, rather than the obvious decision to let the Justice resign immediately and go scot free! Sadly true Justice appears remote what with the likes of Moily and PC indirectly lending support to the trapped justice. Incidentally, while PDD and his well paid soldiers were instrumental in ensuring PC won the last elections in Sivaganga, the members of the bar in B’lore are well aware of his closeness with Nalini Chidambaram.

  11. ರಾಜ Says:

    Truly sensational and informative comments.
    For all those discussing Tam Brams and Nobels,
    Take the real saga -

    @S Mubani
    “Incidentally, while PDD and his well paid soldiers were instrumental in ensuring PC won the last elections in Sivaganga, the members of the bar in B’lore are well aware of his closeness with Nalini Chidambaram”

    I think Karnataka High Court has become playground of Hutch Liberal Makkal Kachchi with Home Minister , CJI ,Justices all from TN.
    With Lawyer Nalini attending Bangalore court thrice a week
    and Judge Dinakaran deciding cases at 27 in 24 minutes!!!
    http://www.thehindu.com/2009/01/11/stories/2009011153660500.htm

    The quiet Idly sambhar Chettiar Tam Bram Home minister’s home is turning out more liberal and scandalous?
    http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=77317
    http://lawandotherthings.blogspot.com/2005/10/ram-jethmalani-on-nalini-chidambaram.html

    I can now sense what would have happened to Soni kudi’s Quattarochi Italy case.
    Interesting thing is Moily is the law minister when all these things are happening and bloody fool will give all the bad name to karnataka, defending them. I wonder how much he is paid in return!!
    Still interesting is Krishna flies off and Kharge dozes off;

    And we still think high of judiciary……

  12. Mahesh Says:

    The Hindustan Times reports that top jurists on Sunday asked the Chief Justice of India to seek the resignation of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, following confirmation by the Tamil Nadu government and the final report by the investigation ordered by the Supreme Court, of land grabbing and corruption allegations.

    Commenting on the latest development, veteran jurist Ram Jethmalani said “The collegium has been forced to review and hold back its recommendation for promotion after allegations against him surfaced. How can such a judge continue?”

    With carefully planted news in the vernacular media being floated around by vested interests that PDD will be finally bailed out and shunted-off to a remote and safe state like Assam, Mizoram or Goa, it is high time the CJI and the Govt (especially Moily whose statements and contradictions has made his own state a mockery of our Justice System) take a swift decision and order a Independent probe that results in mandatory punishment.

    Nothing else will restore the respect of the bar and our Judiciary.

  13. Hiker Says:

    Mahesh,
    Do you think it is OK for a corrupt judge like PDD to be transferred to states like Assam, Mizo or Goa? Is it that these states are somewhat inferior so it is OK?
    This fellow should be sent home permanently and all his illegal properties seized.

  14. shivanagowda. Says:

    The way the SUPREME COURT COLLEGIUM IS CONDUCTING THE PROBE is like the Pakistan court conducting probe against criminals who attacked Mumbai on 26th Nov 2008. In all probabality the PD Dinakiran will come out clean due to corruption in SC Collegium.

  15. Karnataka Bar Member Says:

    Judges in any country are always an example of Justice above politics, caste, power and corruption,,etc. Like in the US, Europe and all developed countries, they need to be absolutely above the worst evils of society, both controversy and suspicion of wrongdoing, Sadly in our sacred land of the Great Mahatma and his noble profession, the situation is the opposite.

    All said and done: In the name of the chief justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan and the so called Collegium: Here is a judge who is not acceptable to almost all sections of society, more importantly the judicial fraternity, which includes the lawyers themselves! Does the conclusion mean that the CJI itself needs to be investigated and prosecuted?

  16. V.T.Venkataram Says:

    The framers of our constitution did not imagine the fact that a Chief Justice abused of Land grabbing would not resign on moral grounds !!

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