July 26, 2021
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A HC Judge In The Citizens' Court

L'affaire Dinakaran is getting murkier by the day. After 76 Rajya Sabha members signed the impeachment petition which was admitted by Vice President Hamid Ansari, some Congress Dalit MPs criticised the move, arguing that Justice Dinakaran was being persecuted for being a Dalit. Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati, has predictably joined forces. Meanwhile, there had been news that Justice Dinakaran the chief justice of Karnataka high court will not henceforth exercise any judicial functions till it is notified otherwise.

D V Shylendrakumar, a judge in the High Court of Karnataka, writes in the New Indian Express, that on learning  that Justice Dinakaran was however still exercising his powers as the Chief Justice on the administrative side, he "was of the sincere opinion that all judges of the high court, should sit together, discuss the matter and take a collective decision to prevail upon the chief justice to refrain from discharging any administrative duties also".

He, therefore, wrote to R B Budihal, registrar general of the High Court of Karnataka in Bangalore, "to circulate a letter amongst his colleagues apprising them of the meeting of the judges to take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 19, to take a decision". 

I learnt in the evening from the registrar general that the chief justice before whom the matter was placed for orders has declined permission for the meeting. Now, this development is the cause for my present communication. This kind of response from the chief justice, to a proposal to hold a meeting of all judges of the high court to discuss an issue involving the conduct of the chief justice himself and is definitely not a matter over which the chief justice himself should take a decision, has only confirmed my worst fears that the chief justice may even now continue to abuse and misuse his powers (including the power to recommend the names of persons to be appointed as judges of the high court after eliciting the views of his colleagues in the collegium) even when he is no more discharging his duties as chief justice of the high court.

In fact grace and propriety requires that a file containing a proposal of this nature, should have been directed to be placed before any other judge of the high court for orders, if at all an order is needed. Well grace, propriety and good conduct are definitely not the strong points of our chief justice. I will work out a way but the point here is that the people of the state and the country should be aware of such developments and also react to the same.

No one can and should sit as a judge in his own cause — even the chief justice of a high court.

Meanwhile, Vinay Sitapati argues in the Indian Express that Justice Dinakaran has been denied the procedural right to be heard, and this denial is the result of the higher judiciary's own choice to be insulated from scrutiny. That insulation, he argues, cuts both ways:

Precisely because judges don’t open up to questioning, they deny themselves the power to brush off the mud slung at them. When you refuse to enact clear-cut procedures to try judges, you have no armour from the rumours, innuendos and allegations in the court of public opinion. When you are not answerable to anyone, you find yourself unable to answer back.

A HC Judge In The Citizens' Court
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

L'affaire Dinakaran is getting murkier by the day. After 76 Rajya Sabha members signed the impeachment petition which was admitted by Vice President Hamid Ansari, some Congress Dalit MPs criticised the move, arguing that Justice Dinakaran was being persecuted for being a Dalit. Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati, has predictably joined forces. Meanwhile, there had been news that Justice Dinakaran the chief justice of Karnataka high court will not henceforth exercise any judicial functions till it is notified otherwise.

D V Shylendrakumar, a judge in the High Court of Karnataka, writes in the New Indian Express, that on learning  that Justice Dinakaran was however still exercising his powers as the Chief Justice on the administrative side, he "was of the sincere opinion that all judges of the high court, should sit together, discuss the matter and take a collective decision to prevail upon the chief justice to refrain from discharging any administrative duties also".

He, therefore, wrote to R B Budihal, registrar general of the High Court of Karnataka in Bangalore, "to circulate a letter amongst his colleagues apprising them of the meeting of the judges to take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 19, to take a decision". 

I learnt in the evening from the registrar general that the chief justice before whom the matter was placed for orders has declined permission for the meeting. Now, this development is the cause for my present communication. This kind of response from the chief justice, to a proposal to hold a meeting of all judges of the high court to discuss an issue involving the conduct of the chief justice himself and is definitely not a matter over which the chief justice himself should take a decision, has only confirmed my worst fears that the chief justice may even now continue to abuse and misuse his powers (including the power to recommend the names of persons to be appointed as judges of the high court after eliciting the views of his colleagues in the collegium) even when he is no more discharging his duties as chief justice of the high court.

In fact grace and propriety requires that a file containing a proposal of this nature, should have been directed to be placed before any other judge of the high court for orders, if at all an order is needed. Well grace, propriety and good conduct are definitely not the strong points of our chief justice. I will work out a way but the point here is that the people of the state and the country should be aware of such developments and also react to the same.

No one can and should sit as a judge in his own cause — even the chief justice of a high court.

Meanwhile, Vinay Sitapati argues in the Indian Express that Justice Dinakaran has been denied the procedural right to be heard, and this denial is the result of the higher judiciary's own choice to be insulated from scrutiny. That insulation, he argues, cuts both ways:

Precisely because judges don’t open up to questioning, they deny themselves the power to brush off the mud slung at them. When you refuse to enact clear-cut procedures to try judges, you have no armour from the rumours, innuendos and allegations in the court of public opinion. When you are not answerable to anyone, you find yourself unable to answer back.

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