Saturday, December 19, 2009

[ZESTCaste] Cong MPs see Dalit angle, rally behind Dinakaran

Cong MPs see Dalit angle, rally behind Dinakaran

Express news service Posted online: Saturday , Dec 19, 2009 at 0334 hrs
New Delhi : Some Congress MPs belonging to the Dalit community have
alleged 'caste bias' behind the move to impeach Karnataka High Court
Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and are planning to mobilise Dalit MPs
against the impeachment motion. They also plan to meet Congress
president Sonia Gandhi on this issue, even as the ruling party remains
non-committal on its stance.
"In the last two-three years, there have been reports about corruption
involving 4-5 judges. But nobody is talking about their impeachment.
Why is Dinakaran being singled out? Is it because he is a Dalit? The
mindset of these (opposition) parties is anti-Dalit. Dinakaran is
young and has the chance of becoming the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court. These parties do not want another Dalit to become Chief
Justice," Congress MP Praveen Rashtrapal told The Indian Express on

Rashtrapal along with another Congress MP J D Seelam had raised
Dinakaran issue in the Rajya Sabha on Friday evoking strong protests
from Opposition benches.

"We are for corruption-free judiciary. There were reports of
corruption in judiciary from Orissa, Chandigarh, Allahabad, etc.
Impeach them first. Apply it uniformly. Just because Dinakaran is a
Dalit, you are trying to taint him. I am not going into the merits of
his case. Message should not go that Dalits have no backing," Seelam
told The Indian Express.

Rashtrapal who had met Dinakaran recently said he would talk to Dalit
MPs in both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and would also try to meet
the Congress president in this regard. "His (Dinakaran's) argument is
that he had bought land before he became a judge. He was a leading
lawyer. His wife is a doctor. He has ancestral property. Has anybody
complained against him? Has the Income-Tax Department levied any
penalty against him? Besides, land is a subject of the state
government, which has to initiate action first. As for Housing Board
flats, is there any law that judges cannot apply?" said Rashtrapal.

Rashtrapal and Seelam were not the only ones to raise the Dalit flag
in connection with Dinakaran's impeachment issue. "We agree with
them," Congress MP from Karauli-Dholpur Khiladi Lal Bairwa told The
Indian Express. A Central Minister from Karnataka was also learnt to
be of the opinion that there was "Dalit factor" behind the move
against Dinakaran.

Unsure about the party's stance, some Dalit MPs of the Congress are,
however, keeping their cards close to their chests. Jalandhar MP
Mohinder Singh Kaypee and Ujjain MP Prem Chand Guddu maintained they
were yet to think about this issue. "We will see," said Kaypee.

Dalit MPs from opposition parties would, however, take their
respective party line. "Be it a Dalit or anybody, if he is wrong, he
must be removed," said BJP MP from Bhind Ashok Argal.

Dinakaran's elevation only in abeyance: CJI

CJI K G Balakrishnan on Friday said the Supreme Court collegium had
only decided to keep "in abeyance" the recommendation for elevation of
Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran. The CJI's
clarification assumes significance in light of reports in a section of
the media which said the collegium had decided to withdraw the
recommendation of Dinakaran in light of serious allegations against

Talking to reporters here, the CJI said the decision to keep
Dinakaran's name in abeyance was taken in view of the impeachment
proceedings against him in the Rajya Sabha over land grabbing
allegations. "When impeachment motion is pending against him, there is
no question of bringing him to the Supreme Court at this stage,"
Balakrishnan said. The CJI was responding to questions on whether the
collegium had dropped Dinakaran's name for elevation to the apex
court. He further informed that a letter would be sent to the
government to keep the matter of Dinakaran's elevation in abeyance.


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