Monday, August 1, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Justice Dinakaran quits, says was denied ‘fair’ defence, could be because he was born Dalit

Justice Dinakaran quits, says was denied 'fair' defence, could be
because he was born Dalit

Maneesh Chhibber Posted online: Sat Jul 30 2011, 04:05 hrs
New Delhi : Asserting that "in spite of my constitutional position, I
have been denied fair opportunity to defend myself and my reputation
by the Judges Inquiry Committee", Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D
Dinakaran, who is facing probe on charges of corruption and
misconduct, today resigned from his post.

In a two-page resignation letter to Chief Justice of India S H
Kapadia, a copy of which is in the possession of The Indian Express, C
J Dinakaran has also said that he had the "sneaking suspicion that my
misfortune was because of circumstances of my birth in the socially
oppressed and underprivileged section of the society".

Sources in the apex court said his resignation would be forwarded to
the President through the Union Law Ministry for acceptance.
Dinakaran's lawyer Amit Anand Tiwari confirmed the development.

The controversial CJ, who had almost made it to the Supreme Court
after being cleared by the collegium, has also said that he was
resigning "in order to maintain the dignity of the office" and "to
prove that I do not have any lust for the office, position and the
power and to prove that I do not want to adopt any dilatory tactics".

On March 16, a three-member committee of jurists comprising Supreme
Court Judge Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court CJ J S Khehar and eminent
jurist P P Rao had issued a chargesheet levelling 16 charges of
corruption and irregularities against Dinakaran. Later, based on
Dinakaran's appeal, Rao was replaced by jurist Mohan Gopal in the

The charges against Dinakaran include possession of wealth
disproportionate to his known sources of income, illegal encroachment
on public property and land belonging to Dalits and acquiring
agricultural holdings beyond ceiling.

Attempts by him to get the panel scrapped have proved futile, with a
SC Bench refusing to quash any of the charges against him.

In his resignation letter, Dinakaran accused "vested interests" of
unfairly targetting him. "On account of my firm views on social
justice, strong and independent judiciary and that politics should not
be permitted into the judiciary, nor the judiciary should enter
political thickets, I could not accommodate undesirable politically
motivated requests/ demands while upholding my oath of office to
render justice without fear or favour in the course of administration
of justice, I have been very calculatively targeted at the instance of
the vested interests," his letter says.

He has also questioned why Rao, a constitutional expert, had been in
the committee earlier, pointing out that he had to move the SC to get
him removed. "When this committee was constituted, it contained a
person who was biased against me. At the earliest opportunity given to
me, i.e after receiving the statutory notice, to raise my objection/
to file my statement, I knocked all the doors to see that this biased
person is removed from the committee. But to no avail. Orders were
passed by the Judge's Inquiry Committee, consisting of this biased
person, behind my back on Sunday. The committee recorded the evidence
behind my back. It appointed a lawyer to assist, but in fact to
prosecute me on behalf of the committee. The said lawyer collected
evidence for fourteen (14) months, compiled 6,300 pages of documents,
but I was asked to give a reply within 15 days. It is difficult to
comprehend as to how 6,300 pages could be read and answered within
such a short period of time," his letter says.

Saying he had no faith in the panel, Dinakaran says, "..It is also
obvious that hearing before the committee is just an empty formality.
Hence, I have lost confidence of getting fair hearing and justice even
before the reconstituted committee. In above factual background I am
unable to repose any faith and confidence in the committee and in the
procedure being adopted by them. I am, therefore, of the firm view
that there would not be any gainful purpose in appearing before the
committee in spite of my innocence."


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