The Apex Court on Monday issued notice to Justice Alam led three member inquiry committee probing charges of misconduct against Sikkim High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran.
A Vacation Bench comprising Justice G S S Singhvi and Justice C K Prasad asked the committee’s response on Justice Dinakaran’s allegations that the panel had expanded the scope of the probe beyond what was initially adopted by the Rajya Sabha motion.
Earlier, senior counsel and former Additional Solicitor General Amrendra Sharan, appearing for Justice Dinakaran sought senior advocate P P Rao’s withdrawal from the committee saying that Rao was biased against the Sikkim Chief Justice. Rao is alleged to have led a delegation to then CJI against Justice Dinakaran’s proposed elevation to the apex court as a judge.
“It is not actual bias but likelihood of reasonable bona fide apprehension of bias which will disqualify a person to be part of the inquiry process. And this bona fide apprehension of bias arises against the member as he had openly canvassed against Justice Dinakaran’s elevation to the Supreme Court on the ground that there was a wide perception about his doubtful integrity,” he argued.
On April 29, a bench comprising Justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad had stayed the proceedings of the committee headed by Justice Alam after Saran had accused the panel of passing ex-parte orders in breach of principles of natural justice and expressed apprehension of one of its members being biased.
The committee was appointed on January 16 last year and was then headed by Justice V S Sirpurkar. Justice Alam headed the committee after Justice Sirpurkar recused on September 23, 2010.
The bench of Justices Singhvi and Kumar adjourned hearing on Justice Dinakaran’s petition to May 18.
With inputs from TOI and