The curious case of Justice P.D. Dinakaran gets curiouser and curiouser.
The chief justice of the high court of Karnataka has been accused of land-grabbing and inappropriate judicial orders. Survey after survey has failed to clear him. A Rajya Sabha impeachment process is now on. There has been talk of transferring him to Sikkim but he conveniently feigns illness and carries on.
And then there is the case of Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar, also of the Karnataka HC.
On his blog, Justice Kumar has taken on then Supreme Court (SC) chief justice K.G. Balakrishnan on the issue of judges declaring their assets. He says the CJI doesn’t not have the right to speak for all judges. He calls him a “serpent without fangs“. He takes on the SC collegium for its failure to weed out corrupt judges.
At a public meeting, he terms the jailing of writer-activist Arundhati Roy for contempt of court as “the darkest day in the history of Indian judiciary“.
Then, he takes on Justice Dinakaran, asking him not to sit on the HC bench and to resign and leave the institution. He posts details of the hospitality expenses of justice Dinakaran. He questions justice Dinakaran holding even administrative powers. And he passes interim orders much to the consternation of Justice Dinakaran and the registrar-judicial. “Who is the chief justice?” he asks.
When the registrar-judicial approaches the SC, he writes: “The non-functional chief justice now seeks support from the SC.” The SC raps him for berating Justice Dinakaran in “intemperate language“. “We are of the considered opinion that it would be inappropriate for any judicial matter to be discussed extra-judicially, that is, apart from hearing it in the court,” says the SC slamming Justice Kumar for defying the model code of conduct for judges framed in 1997.
Questions: Is Justice Shylendra Kumar correct in questioning the judiciary or is he just a publicity hound? Is he flirting with danger by treating his brother-judges with contempt or is this necessary given the speed at which The Curious Case of Justice Dinakaran has moved? Do we need more loose cannons like Shylendra Kumars or will continued attacks diminish the authority of the judiciary?
Full coverage: The strange case of Justice P.D. Dinakaran