“The judge in the court has certain personality and his conduct must be exemplary in all respect and aberration (in the personality) would make him liable for being proceeded against,” said the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad.
The observation came in the course of the hearing of a petition by Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran challenging the judges inquiry committee’s (JIC) probe into charges against him of corruption, land grabbing, possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and misconduct.
The JIC headed by apex court judge Justice Aftab Alam and comprising Karnataka High Court Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and senior counsel P.P. Rao was set up by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari Dec 15, 2009.
The move came after 75 members of the upper house moved a notice of motion seeking impeachment and removal of Dinakaran.
Appearing for Dinakaran, senior counsel Basava Prabhu Patil said of the 12 charges, 10 could not be inquired by the JIC as these charges do not relate to the discharge of judicial duties by him.
The senior counsel said that any alleged illegality by Dinakaran involving benami transactions, land grabbing and destruction of evidence including DA cases could not be the subject matter of probe under Judges (Inquiry) Act. He told the court that the charges based on the said allegations could be dealt with under others laws.
Patil argued that the JIC was going beyond the charges framed and the material relied upon in the notice of motion moved in the Rajya Sabha.
He told the court that senior counsel U.U. Lalit appointed under the Judges (Inquiry) Act was there to plead against Dinakaran before the JIC and not to assist it (JIC).
The court was told that contrary to the provision of the Act, Lalit was infact assisting the JIC in its proceedings.
In his brief submission, Lalit admitted that the JIC has gone beyond the notice of motion containing the charges against Dinakaran and the material relied upon by the members of the Rajya Sabha.
He said that there was a definite “extension, elaboration and refinement” of the charges contained in the notice of motion by the JIC.
Lalit will continue with his arguments Tuesday.