Sunday, December 06, 2009


Karnataka, India

Large segment of well meaning citizens of India feel frustrated about the prevalence of widespread corruption and nepotism amongst politicians and government machinery at various levels in the country. They often console themselves that things would not further deteriorate and media and judiciary would ensure this.

The recent controversies about Justice Dinakaran of Karnataka High Court has certainly sent shock waves amongst those who thought that the judiciary would be the ultimate conscience keeper of the country. Supreme Court has allowed this issue to drag on too long , making people wonder as to whether Supreme court itself lack the will to act decisively on such matters. The judges are responsible for judging various issues and they have to do it quickly, particularly when a judge is involved in the issue. Due to the delay in decision making, tremendous harm is being done to the public perception about the judiciary in the country, which will have very serious long term adverse impact.

Obviously, the Supreme Court think that Justice Dinakaran should not be punished in the absence of adequate proof of his alleged misdeeds, particularly when Justice Dinakaran has denied the allegations. The rule of justice traditionally say that the benefit of doubt should be given to the accused and Supreme Court is banking on this view point.

Even while granting that the Supreme Court has justification for its stand, it has to realize that large number of senior advocates have appealed not to elevate Justice Dinakaran to Supreme Court and such an appeal is unprecedented and cannot be ignored by the Supreme Court. Further, the District Collector has given a report on the issue about his land holdings, apart from the protest by the local people.Several advocates in Karnataka have asked as to how can one whose proposed elevation to Supreme court has to be delayed and have raised so much of controversies can continue as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. If one’s elevation to Supreme Court has to be delayed due to controversies , the same logic should be applicable for holding position as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court also. The standards of judiciary should be the same everywhere whatever may be the level of courts.

If Supreme Court were to think that one should not be punished due to suspicions, it should also think that one cannot be a judge under suspicious circumstances.

More than Justice Dinakaran, Supreme Court appear to be causing greater anxiety for the well meaning citizens of India who think that the standards of judiciary must be kept high. It is extremely difficult to understand the silence of Supreme Court about allowing Justice Dinakaran to continue to sit as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court in the present circumstances.

Justice Dinakaran would be doing great service to the country and to the image of judiciary and to his own image and to build the confidence of the public about the standards of judges, by voluntarily going on leave until his name would be cleared.

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