Sixteen charges of corruption and irregularities have been slapped by a Rajya Sabha constituted panel against Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice P D Dinkaran, who is facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament.
The committee comprising Supreme Court Justice Aftab Alam, Karnataka High Court Justice K S Khehar and eminent jurist P P Roy issued the charge-sheet to Dinakaran on March 16 and has sought his response by April 9.
The charges against him include possession of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, illegal encroachment on public property and land belonging to Dalits and other weaker sections, five Tamil Nadu Housing Board plots in favour of wife and two daughters, benami transactions, acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond the ceiling fixed by the TN Land Reforms Act 1961, destruction of evidence, undervaluation of sale agreements, evasion of stamp duty and illegal constructions.
Justice Dinakaran has also been accused of resorting to irregular and dishonest administrative actions by fixing rosters of judges to facilitate dishonest judicial decisions while he was the chief justice of the Karnataka high court. He is also accused of initiating illegal transfers of judges and appointments of staff, sources said.
Dinakaran has been granted the liberty to engage a lawyer of his choice to defend himself.
Justice Dinakaran was recommended for appointment as a Supreme Court judge in August 2009 but the move was stalled following the allegations against him. The motion for Dinakaran's removal was admitted in the Rajya Sabha on December 17, 2009 following which Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari constituted the panel to probe the allegations.
Initially, another Supreme Court Judge V S Sirpurkar was appointed to head the panel but he was forced to recuse after the Madras Bar Association and various lawyers' forum pointed out that he had worked with Justice Dinakaran in the Madras high court.
While slapping charges against Dinakaran, the panel took into consideration the data furnished by the Income Tax Department and the Tamil Nadu government to back the allegations against him.