THE BRAZEN CONDUCT OF JUSTICE DINAKARAN

The breathtaking case against Justice P.D. Dinakaran has taken an even more breathtaking turn with the Madras-based Forum for Judicial Accountability forwarding a fresh memorandum of charges, its fourth, to the Supreme Court collegium, against the elevation of the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court to the SC.

This time, the charges are even more damning.

The forum draws attention to the judge’s contempt for the one-plot-per-family rule in the acquisition of housing plots by his wife Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinkaran and their daughters; the undervalued purchase of a prime piece of real estate in Ooty in the name of his 80-year-old mother-in-law and the brazen use of a Bangalore bank to finance the purchase;  and the inappropriate hospitality enjoyed by the Dinkaran family at the hands of an NRI petitioner in whose favour he allegedly ruled in a case.

The forum has demanded that a CBI probe be initiated into the charges  under the prevention of corruption Act, and that Justice Dinkaran be stopped from functioning as chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, that he be removed as chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, and that his property be attached.

churumuri.com has not independently verified the charges nor does it vouch for the veracity of the charges or the lack thereof. The memorandum is published here in the public interest given the seriousness of the allegations, and because the memorandum is now a public document, having been brought to the notice of the CJI.

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22 October 2009

To Hon’ble Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India; Hon’ble justices S.H. Kapadia, Tarun Chatterjee, Altamas Kabir, R.V.Raveendran;  Supreme Court of India, New Delhi.

Sirs,

Subject:  Details of more acquisitions and improper judicial conduct of Justice P.D. Dinakaran.

Reference:  Our representations dated September 9, September 17, October 1, 2009

Further to our earlier representations, information about the acquisition of more properties by and improper judicial conduct of Mr Justice P.D.Dinakaran in another case, has come to our knowledge.

Additional information regarding the housing board allotments and the property at Ooty referred to in our third representation dated October 1 is also furnished.

ITwo more housing plots from Tamil Nadu Housing Board in favour of Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran

We had set out in our representation dated October 1 as to how three plots were obtained in the year 2005 by Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran and the two daughters of Justice P.D. Dinakaran in violation of the one-plot-per-family norm, which has been uniformly followed by the housing board since its housing schemes are meant to cater to those without any other residential accommodation.

In addition to the aforesaid three plots, Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran was also allotted Plot No. HIG II/39 and Plot No. HIG II/40 by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and the sale deeds (Nos. 5044 and 5045) were executed on 1 September 2005, the same date when the sale deeds for the three plots referred to earlier were executed.

The information regarding the additional two plots are as follows:

Name of scheme: Sholinganallur village neighbourhood scheme phase III, Tambaram Circle, Kancheepuram District.

Area of plot: 395.85 square metres each

Buyer: Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinkaran

Sub-registrar office: Neelankarai

Price: Rs 13,67, 267 each

Thus in all Justice Dinakaran managed to have five housing plots numbers HIG II/25, 39, 40, 43 & 44 allotted to his wife and daughters, in total violation of the rules of the public body and against public interest.  It has to be noted that the plots are allotted abutting wide roads, which enable future use for commercial purposes.

II.   Property in Ooty in The Nilgiris District, Tamil Nadu

Prime property: In our representation dated October 1, it was mentioned that 4.5 acres of property in survey no 4813/C with a bungalow was purchased recently on 28 August 2009 in the name of Paripoornam, mother-in law of Justice Dinakaran.  It has to be pointed out that the property was undervalued at Rs 33,75,100, whereas under the government guidelines, the value of land in survey no. 4813/C is Rs 150 per sq ft, which works out to nearly Rs 3 crore for 4.5 acre.

We now understand that the gross under-valuation of the property has been sought to be justified by showing the land abutting to bungalow bungalow as agricultural land.  This is contrary to the classification made by the government for the said property as residential area class III.  It has to be noted that the property stands in the heart of Ooty at Golf Link Road.

Source of funds: It is significant that the sale consideration of Rs 33,75,100 was paid in the following manner as per the sale deed dated 28 August 2009:

Bank: Bank of Baroda, M.G. Road branch, Bangalore

Date: 28 August 2009

Draft numbers: 125536, 125537, 125538, 125539

Amounts: Rs 900000; Rs 900000; Rs 900000; Rs 675,100 respectively

Total  33,75,100

We had earlier pointed out that the purchaser, Mrs Paripoornam is the mother-in-law of Justice Dinakaran; a retired headmistress and pensioner of about 80 years of age and is not known to have financial resources to support such a huge investment.  The fact that the demand drafts towards the sale consideration for purchase of Ooty property were all obtained from a bank in Bangalore, where Justice Dinakaran was and is the chief justice of Karnataka, cannot be dismissed as a mere coincidence and provides a lead to the source of funds and the real owner of the property.

3.   Information on funds for the Housing Board Plots

For the five plots purchased from the Tamil Nadu Housing Board in the name of Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran, the sale considerations were paid in the following manner as shown in the sale deeds:

For plot number HIGII/39, land extent 395.85 square metres, purchased in the name of Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran

Bank: Bank of Baroda, cheques number 594247 , 594352, 594805, 499387/88, and Indian Overseas Bank, cheque number 803568

Dates: 28 May 2002, 18 June 2002, 1 August 2002, 22 March 2005, and 28 May 2002 respectively

Amounts: Rs 30765, Rs 684335, Rs 151000, Rs 411167, and Rs 90,000 respectively

Total: 13,67,267

For plot number HIGII/4, land extent 395.85 square metres, purchased in the name of Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran

Bank: Bank of Baroda, cheque numbers 594248, 594352, 594805, 499387/88, and Indian Overseas Bank, cheque number 803569

Dates: 28 May 2002, 18 June 2002, 1 August 2002, 22 March 2005, and 28 May 2002 respectively

Amounts:Rs 30765, Rs 684335, Rs 151000, Rs 411,167, and Rs 90,000 respectively

Total: 13,67,267

The aforesaid details are obtained from the certified copies of the sale-deeds and the fact that the last three DDs / cheques in the sale deeds for Plot Nos. 39 & 40 are identical needs further probe.

For plot number HIG II/25, land extent 360 square metres, purchased in the name of Dr (Mrs) Vinodhini Dinakaran

Banks: State Bank of India cheque numbers 467422 and 467423; Indian Overseas Bank cheque numbers 804104 and 805465, and Bank of Baroda

Amounts: Rs 48615 and Rs 48000 of 28 May 2002; Rs 547485 of 18 June and Rs 161025 of 31 July 2002, and Rs 346155 of 31 March 2005 respectively

Total: Rs 11,51,280

For plot number HIG II/43, land extent 366 square metres, purchased in the name of James Kuppuswamy

Bank: Bank of Baroda, cheques numbers 594250 and 594251 of 28 May 2002, and 594351 of 18 June 2002 and 498848 of 28 December 2004

Amounts: Rs 48307, Rs 48308, Rs 547485, Rs 215724 respectively

Total: 859824.00

For plot number HIG II/44, land extent 336 square metres, purchased in the name of M.G. Paripoornam

Bank: Bank of Baroda, cheque/DD numbers 594249 and 594252 of 28 May 2002, 594353 of 18 June 2002, 498847 of 28 December 2004

Amounts: Rs 48307, Rs 48308, Rs 547485, Rs 215724 respectively

Total: Rs 859,824

The aforesaid information may provide the necessary leads to find out the source of funds.

4.  Another case of improper judicial conduct

Contrary to accepted norms of judicial conduct—that a judge shall not hear any matter to which a person close to him is a party, as otherwise it erodes the confidence of the public in the impartiality of the judicial system, Justice Dinakaran heard W.P. No. 39838 of 2005 in the Madras High Court and passed certain questionable orders.

W.P.No. 39838 of 2005 was filed in the Madras High Court by a Pentecostal Mission seeking a Writ of Mandamus, restraining Police authorities from interfering with the peaceful possession of its property near Chennai.  Initially interim injunction was granted by Hon’ble Mr Justice C. Nagappan.

One Anandhi Murthy, wife of Karuna Murthy, resident of 532, Cummer Avenue, North York, Oterio, M-2-K-2 MI, Canada contested the title of the Pentecostal Mission to the property and filed a petition to be impleaded in the writ petition.  By an order dated 19.8.2006, Justice Dinakaran allowed the said Anandi Murthy to be impleaded.

Not stopping with that, Justice Dinakaran continued to pass extraordinary orders on 6 September 2006, 20 September 2006 and other dates recording that the writ petitioner and his senior counsel conceded that the averments in writ petition were false and passed other orders.

According to the averments of the writ petitioner in his appeal, viz. W.A.No. 1329 of 2006, no such concession was made and that they had in fact wanted to withdraw the writ petition and approach the Civil Court. Yet, Justice Dinakaran continued to hear the matter and pass highly questionable orders.

We do not wish to comment on the merits or demerits of the claim of the petitioner or the claim of Anandi Murthy.

It is reliably learnt that Justice Dinakaran had earlier enjoyed the hospsitality of the said Anandhi Murthy and her husband Karuna Murthy. In fact, just a year before the said writ petition was filed, in the year 2004, Justice Dinakaran, his wife and two daughters visited Canada en route to the USA for admission of daughter Amudha Porkodi in SUNY College of Technology at Utica, New York State, USA.

Justice Dinakaran and his family stayed with Anandhi Murthy and Karuna Murthy in Canada between 11 and 15 August 2004.  Later, it is learnt that the said Anandhi Murthy and Karuna Murthy actually joined the Dinakarans at Utica, U.S.A. at the time of Amudha Porkodi’s admission to college.

Justice Dinakaran thus had a close connection with one of the parties to the case and despite that continued to hear the case, violating the accepted code of judicial conduct as enunciated in the Bangalore Principles.

Value 2 of the said Principles under the Chapter “Impartiality” reads as follows:

“2.1 A judge shall perform his or her judicial duties without favour, bias or prejudice….

“2.5.  A judge shall disqualify himself or herself from participating in any proceedings in which the judge is unable to decide the matter impartially or in which it may appear to a reasonable observer that the judge is unable to decide the matter impartially.”

The aforesaid principles are not laid down merely for the benefit of the parties to the case who will have a remedy on review or appeal. However, the code of judicial conduct is meant to preserve the image of the judiciary as an impartial mechanism and it is this image Justice Dinakaran lowered by his conduct. It is this conduct, which calls for scrutiny and condemnation.

The information so far provided by us coupled with the report submitted by the district collector, Thiruvallur district, as widely reported in the newspapers, show that Justice Dinakaran is guilty of not only judicial misconduct but also of various offences under the criminal laws of the country, including prevention of corruption Act, 1947.

Justice Dinakaran’s continuation in the judicial system jeopardises the integrity of the entire judicial system and in order to prevent any further damage, the precedent laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Justice V. Ramaswami ought to be followed and Justice Dinakaran should not be permitted to function now.

We are convinced that the information forwarded by us regarding Justice Dinakaran’s actions while holding office as a judge of a high court are sufficiently supported by documents furnished so far. The acts of appropriating public property, amassing assets disproportionate to known sources of income and the questionable judicial orders showing bias and malafides are of such gravity that they cannot brook any further delay in setting the regular course of criminal investigation in motion and immediate attachment of his assets.

When any officer high or low in the executive commits any offence, it is the administrative head or the police who initiate action for setting the process of criminal investigation and prosecution in motion.  The Supreme Court of India, in order to protect the independence of judiciary has held in K. Veeraswami vs Union of India {1991(3) SCC p.655} that it is the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, who has to ultimately sanction registration of an FIR and investigation against a judge in the higher judiciary.

In keeping with the high principle of judicial independence, the Supreme Court of India, as the highest judicial forum, may call for a criminal investigation and consequent action against Mr Justice P.D. Dinakaran.

We, therefore, request that:

# based on the information provided by us in our representations dated 9 September 2009, 17 September 2009, 1 October 2009 and 22 October 2009 along with any other information received by the Supreme Court Collegium, the Central Bureau of Investigation may be directed to register a First Information Report under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and other relevant Laws against Mr Justice P.D. Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court and the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India may grant the necessary permission for the same;

# based on the result of the investigation, the Central Bureau of Investigation may be directed to obtain necessary sanction from the President of India in consultation with the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India to prosecute Mr. Justice P.D. Dinakaran;

# advise Mr Justice P.D. Dinakaran to go on leave and not to discharge functions as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court;

# initiate immediate action for removal of Mr Justice P.D. Dinakaran from the office of Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court and

# direct immediate attachment of the assets of Mr Justice P.D. Dinakaran and ensure that no tampering of evidence takes place, pending investigation and appropriate action.

Yours faithfully,

Signed

R.Vaigai, Sriram Panchu, senior advocate, Anna Mathew, Sudha Ramalingam, S.S. Vasudevan, S. Devika, T. Mohan, Geeta Ramaseshan, N.L. Rajah, D. Nagasaila

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