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

July 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Dalits, newsletter-india, Persecution

Justice Dinakaran

Justice Dinakaran

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 panel.

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.”

– expressindia

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