Justice Dinakaran Must Stay Away From Judicial Work

By Parmanand Pandey

The way Justice P.D. Dinakaran, the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court is trying to give the caste and communal colour to the opposition of his elevation to the Apex court is indeed very sad and tragic. What is all the more disturbing is that the reaction of National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes over this issue, which by stretch of imagination is very nasty, ugly, stinking and in bad taste

Corruption is like a cancer. We may believe or not, it has spread to the entire polity of the Indian state. However, it is quite satisfying that people have very high expectations from the judiciary. But it gets dashed when they come to know that those who are appointed to the high posts of judges are not above board. One of the former Chief Justices of India, Justice Bharucha was on record that 20 per cent judges in the country were corrupt. This was obviously an understatement; the figure must be quite high. Assuming that only One-fifth of the judges are vulnerable to corruption, the figure is very alarming. This means that the justice in sensitive cases is traded off by these judges.

Justice P.D. Dinaparan is one of the five judges, who have been recommended by the collegium for the appointment of judges, for his elevation to the Supreme Court. When this news became public, many senior lawyers and Bar Associations were aghast to learn it. They immediately protested that a person of dubious integrity like Dinakaran should not be let to hold the very high office of the Apex Court judge. In all fairness, Justice Dinakaran, who is even today holding very high office of the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court should have offered himself for investigation or scrutiny till the he was cleared of all doubts but unlike a transparent judge and more like a petty politician he started justifying his ill-acquired wealth, mostly in the form of landed property.

The height of his audacity was when he said that he was being targeted because he belonged to Schedule Caste and those opposed to his elevation were from upper castes. First of all, it should be noted that those who aired their opposition to his elevation are very senior jurists of impeccable integrity and they are head and shoulder above the contemptuous considerations of caste. Secondly, many of them do not belong to the rigid caste system of the Hindu religion. Thirdly, why does Justice Dinakaran forget the fact that he owed his chief justice ship of the High Court more to his being of Schedule Caste than to his scholarship or learning or brilliant advocacy? Fourthly, his claim of being rich from the beginning should be taken with a shovel of salt because; it is difficult to find a person belonging to the depressed section of the society of being such a big landlord as he claims to be that too; in the area from where he had not earlier connection. Perhaps, Justice Dinakaran does not know that by adopting such postures he is doing incalculable damage to the schedule caste, which he belongs to. The name of the present Chief Justice of India, Shri K.G. Balakrishnan, is also unnecessarily being dragged into the controversy because the present CJI who although belongs to the Scheduled Caste yet there is not an iota of doubt that he has come to occupy this high post only and only on the basis of the merit.

The statement that has been issued by the National Commission of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes shielding Justice PD Dinakaran is very unfortunate and deprecating. Shockingly, the present Chairman of the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes is Shri Buta Singh, whose corruption stinks to high heaven. By issuing such statement he wants to put veil on his own neck-deep corrupt activities. Meanwhile, it will be good in the interest of judiciary if justice Dinakaran opts out on his own from his elevation and keeps himself away from performing judicial work in the High Court of Karnataka till all doubts about him are not cleared. However, if he does not do so, then his appointment should be cancelled. In order to have the faith of the people in the judiciary there ought not to be any compromise on the matters related to corruption. What should be the process of appointment of judges and how to select incorruptible judges, whether collegium system has failed or National Judicial Commission will be a foolproof system?-I will write on these issues in my next post.