Should Justice Dinakaran be impeached?
Adinath@Avinash Patil (advocate) 15 December 2009
YES JUSTICE DINKARAN SHOULD BE IMPEACHED.
Gundlapallis (Advocate) 15 December 2009
Not just impeachment suitable punishment should follow if the charges against him are true.
K.C.Suresh (Advocate) 15 December 2009
Let the law and constitution paly its role under this great democracy. But no illwill should guide any bopdy against any body.
N.K.Assumi (Advocate) 15 December 2009
I agreed with Suresh.
Vineet (Director) 15 December 2009
Agree with Mr Suresh. Justice and truth should prevail. Let this process re-establish common man's faith in syatem and judiciary.
Theja (Lawyer) 15 December 2009
Law shall be equally applied for everybody without favorability of any nature. Rule of law shall prevail.
N.K.Assumi (Advocate) 15 December 2009
This Forum has played its own part, so let the Law take its own course of action.
vyas (Cochin) 15 December 2009
the impeachment of justice dinakaran should be a Example for whole country.........lesson
H.D.Kumaravelu (Advocate) 15 December 2009
Yes he should be impeached
adv. rajeev ( rajoo ) (practicing advocate) 15 December 2009
If dinakaran had some sense he could have resigned, but he didn't. He should be impeached and punished.
The behaviour of dinakaran shows how he loves his chair, because once he looses his chair no body will care, even his office peon will not care him. And he is addicted to the facilities given by the govt., How come easily he will resign.
So it is better to impeach him.
PJANARDHANA REDDY (ADVOCATE & DIRECTOR) 15 December 2009
If he gets impeached by GREAT INDIAN PARLIAMENT ,it will be a good lesson for the rest who are in same footings......
Shree. ( Advocate.) 15 December 2009
Go through the below file,article then Comment on the thread:
Justice V. Ramaswamy -
The first-ever impeachment motion against a SC judge, Justice V. Ramaswami, was signed by 108 MPs in 1991. A year later, an inquiry found Ramaswami “guilty of willful and gross misuses of office… “While serving as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court”. Ramaswami survived the impeachment process as Parliament got divided along regional lines, southern MPs strongly supported him. Only 196 members of Parliament, less than the required two-thirds, voted for his ouster
A historic non-impeachment
An all-round system failure BY PRASHANT BHUSHAN:
May 11, 1993 will be remembered as a black day for Parliament and for the judiciary in this country. For on that day,
205 Lok Sabha members belonging to the Congress(I) and its allies sabotaged the impeachment motion against
Justice V. Ramaswami of the Supreme Court by abdicating their constitutional duty of voting for or against and
thus defeating the motion by ensuring that it did not receive the support of an absolute majority of the total
membership of the House.
Each one of the 196 MPs who voted, all belonging to the Opposition parties, voted for the removal of the judge.
Thus, despite the motion for removal being passed unanimously by the members who voted, it failed, bringing to a
close the more-than-two-year old proceedings for the removal of Ramaswami. The result, therefore, is that despite a
high-power inquiry committee of three eminent judges having come to the conclusion that Ramaswami was guilty of
several acts of gross misbehaviour which warranted his removal, the judge is still entitled to discharge judicial
functions from the highest court of the land. It is another matter that after the impeachment mo tion failed,
Ramaswami was persuaded to resign by the Congress(I) which belatedly realised that it would have to pay a heavy
price for being seen to have supported a corrupt judge.
The failure of the motion, especially after the tortuous course it went through, raises several grave issues for the
future of the administration of justice in this country and indeed for probity in public life in general. But before
going into these issues, let us briefly recapitulate the history of this saga.
Ramaswami was appointed Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on November 12, 1987 and
continued as such till October 8, 1989 when he was elevated to the Supreme Court. In April/May 1990, reports appeared
in the press about the huge and extraordinary nature of the expenditure incurred by Ramaswami for his
official residence when he was Chief Justice at Chandigarh and the audit objections thereto. This greatly disturbed
members of the Bar and MPs, who voiced their concern to the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Sabyasachi
Mukherjee. After deep consideration of the matter, on July 20, 1990, the Chief Justice announced in open court that
he had advised Ramaswami to "desist from discharging judicial functions so long as the investigations continued
and until his name was cleared in this aspect.”
Ramaswami went on leave and re mained on leave for the next five months. Thereafter, the Chief Justice constituted
a committee consisting of Justices B. C. Ray, Jagannath Shetty and M. N. Venkatachalaiah of the Su preme Court
seeking their advice on the question "whether the involvement of Justice V. Ramaswami in certain proceedings in
relation to certain administrative decisions and certain other administrative acts and omissions as Chief Justice of
Punjab and Haryana High Court would render it embarrassing for him to function as a judge of the Supreme Court
This committee submitted its report on November 8, 1991, to Chief Justice Ranganath Mishra, who succeeded
Sabyasachi Mukherjee on his demise. It said that only if an inference of moral turpitude became inescapable could
the judge be considered disentitled from discharging judicial functions. The committee further advised the Chief
Justice "to consider whether such un seemly controversy could be put to rest by requesting Justice Ramaswami to
make good the value of these items (which were allegedly misappropriated by him) without prejudice to his stand
and contentions in the matter."
On this report, Ranganath Mishra ended the five-month leave of Ramaswami who resumed work in De cember
1990. Soon thereafter, however, further articles and reports appeared in the press, detailing the various acts of
financial malfeasance and outright misappropriation of goods from his official residence by Ramaswami. This led
to an unprecedented resolution by the Supreme Court Bar Association on February I, 1991, calling for the
impeachment of Ramaswami and calling upon the Chief Justice not to assign him any judicial work.
Prashant Bhushan is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court
Frontline, June 4, 1993
On February 27, 1991, 108 members of the Lok Sabha belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the National Front
and the Left parties submitted a notice of motion to the Speaker calling for the removal of Ramaswami. The
Constitution and the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, require such a motion to be signed by at least 100 members
of the Lok Sabha or 50 members of the Rajya Sabha. Eleven charges, all relating to the gross abuse of his
financial and ad ministrative powers as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and to
criminal misappropriation of property, were made in this notice of motion. It was supported by a mass of
documents which were mostly audit reports of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Accountant -General's
office and the reports of a committee of district ju dges appointed by the High Court to look into these matters.
Interestingly, while the motion was pending with the then Speaker, Rabi Ray, who was empowered to admit
or reject it, a delegation of senior Con gress MPs , which included P. V. Narasimha Rao, called upon Rabi
Ray to plead against the admission of the motion. They, however, gave no rea sons why, and on the Speaker
giving them time, offered to give their objec tions in writing. No such objections came, however. Instead,
Rabi Ray re ceived a call from Rajiv Gandh i who pleaded with him not to admit the mo tion "since he (Rajiv
Gandhi) had sent Justice Ramaswami to the Punjab High Court to ensure that terrorists were not granted bail
by the courts in Punjab and Justice Ramaswami had fulfilled that assurance." Interestingly also, in the debate
on the motion in the Lok Sabha, both Buta Singh, former Home Minister, and Kapil Sibal, who appeared for
Ramaswami, pleaded on behalf of the judge on the ground that he had agreed to go to Chandigarh when no
other judge was willing to go to the terrorism-affected area.
Rabi Ray admitted the motion on March 12, 1991, just before the dissolution of the ninth Lok Sabha and
as mandated by the Judges (Inquiry) Act, constituted a committee of Justice P. B. Sawant of the Supreme
Court, Chief Justice P. D. Desai of the Bombay High Court and Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy, retired
judge of the Supreme Court, to inquire into the charges. The committee, however, could not begin its
work since the then Law Minister, Subramanian Swamy, and the then At torney -General, G. Ramaswamy,
advised the Government that the im peachment motion had lapsed on dis solution of the House and the
Govern ment refused to issue the necessary no tification.
This provoked a body of advocates of the Supreme Court, called the Committee on Judicial Accountability, to
file a petition in the Supreme Court to direct the Government to issue the notification. In October 1991, the
Su preme Court decided that the motion had not lapsed and that the inquiry committee was properly
constituted. It was only thereafter that the inquiry committee could begin its work and by January 14, 1992,
after examining all the audit reports and other documents, it formulated a charge sheet containing 14 charges
and communicated them to the judge for his response.
Ramaswami did not respond to the merits of the charges but proceeded to question the jurisdiction of the
inquiry committee, hurled absurd accusations at its members and even held a threat of blackmail to his
brother judges in the Supreme Court saying he knew about the lack of rectitude and integ rity of others in the
Co urt and that he could wash dirty linen in public if he was left beleagured.
With the repeated and emphatic communications by Ramaswami that he wouJd not submit to its jurisdiction,
the committee proceeded with the in quiry without his direct participation. Though he did not participate in
the proceedings directly, he did so through the proxy of a Congress MP from Tamil Nadu, M. Krishnaswamy.
Through the same proxy, Ramaswami filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the jurisdiction of the
in quiry committee and the procedure adopted by it. The Supreme Court declined Krishnaswamy's request to
stay the proceedings of the inquiry committee while it continued hearing the petition. That Krishnas wamy
was acting as a proxy was clear not only from the fact that Kapil Sibal was also his counsel, but also because
the entire corre spondence between the judge and the committee had been supplied to him by the judge.
The inquiry committee, after examining the documents and a large number of witnesses who were permitted
to be extensively cross-examined by counsel for Krishnaswamy, prepared its report by June 30, 1992. The
sub mission of the report was, however, delayed on account of another petition file d by Ramaswami's wife in
the Su preme Court seeking that the judge be supplied with a copy of the report be fore it was submitted to the
Speaker. By a common judgment, the Supreme Court, while dismissing Krishna swamy's petition on the
ground that he did not have locus standi, declined the request of Ramaswami's wife but held that
Ramaswami would have an oppo rtunity to challenge the report be fore Parliament and would have a further
opportunity of judicial review even after Parliament had voted for his removal and he had been removed. On
July 20, 1992, the report of the inquiry committee was submitted to the Speaker but curiously it was tabled in
the House by the Speaker fiv e months later, in December 1992.
The report was unanimous, un equivocal and very strong in its con demnation of Ramaswami. He was found
guilty on 11 of the 14 charges, some in part and some in full. And the charges on which he was found guilty
did not merely relate to extravagant spending or breach of financial rules, but of fraud and worse. Thus, on
the very first charge, the committee held that "the far too extravagant and. wasteful expenditure on furniture,
furnishings and electrical appliances at his official residence and the manner in which the purchases of
furniture and carpets were effected from the same favoured dealers without obtaining genuine quotations
and, therefore, without ascertaining whether the price paid was fair and reasonable, some times against
advance bills and against cash payments in large sums, and in disregard of the financial rules were such as
Frontline, June 4, 1993
to bring dishonour and disrepute to the judiciary so as to shake the faith and confidence which the public
repose in the institution."
Even on the charges which were held not proved, the committee mostly gave Ramaswami the benefit of doubt
or let him off on a finding that though what he had done was wrong, it had also been done previously. Thus,
on the fantastic expenditure of Rs. 9.1 lakh on his residential telephones du ring the 22 months of his tenure,
the Committee, while observing that his predecessor had incurred an expenditure of merely Rs. 38,000 for a
longer period and that Ramaswami's expenditure in each month exceeded the e xpenditure of his predecessor
for two years, still absolved him of this charge saying, "However, in view of the want of clear evidence with
regard to the use of the telephone for his personal purposes, it is not possible to hold beyond reasonable
doubt that Justice Ramaswami obtained any personal gain." Similarly, on the charge of giv ing several
undeserved out of-the -way promotions in breach of rules to a set of favoured officials, the committee, while
finding the charge to be factually true, held as follows: "It appears, however, that there was a practice in the
High Court of Punjab and Haryana for the outgoing Chief Justice to create additional posts and also to give
pro motions. The practice has to be depre cated. However, in view of its existence and in the circumstances
mentioned by us earlier, we are not in a position to say that the charge of out -of-turn and unlawful
promotions to a favoured group of officers by way of reward in wilful abuse of power is established beyond
Though the Budget session of Parliament started in February this year, the Speaker placed the impeachment
motion before the House only at the fag end of the session, on May 10. After the opening speech of Somnath
Chatterjee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) recommending the adoption of the motion, counsel for
the judge, Kapil Sibal, was by an unprece dented procedure allowed to address the House.
Sibal made a six-hour presentation, hailed for its eloquence, by which he sought to show that there was no
substance in the charges found proved by the committee and that many of them in any case were trivial. He
ridiculed the motion for the removal of a judge “ for purchases of a few pieces of carpet or a few suitcases."
By referring to various statements made by the judge in his reply sent to Parliament and to various
documents filed by him in his reply, Sibal sought to demonstrate that the charges could not stand. Sibal's
lengthy presentation was heard by a packed House and it impressed many.
When the House rose at the end of Sibal's presentation, the Congress(l) found itself in a dilemma. Even
before the motion was taken up, a substantial section of Congress(I) MPs from Tamil Nadu had issued a
statement calling upon the leadership to defeat the mo tion. Among the reasons they gave were that the
charges were frivolous and trivial, that the removal of the judge who had been appointed by Ra jiv Gandhi
would besmirch his memory and finally that the people of Tamil Nadu would not appreciate the hounding
out of office of a fellow Tamilian. In the final run -up, some other MPs, some belonging to the Rajiv Gandhi
faction and some from Punjab and Haryana, joined the Tamil Nadu MPs in support of the judge. A few
others, impressed by Sibal's presenta tion, also came out in support. On May 11 morning, when the debate
resumed, and the speeches of the Opposition members in support of the motion began, the Congress(I) MPs
seemed evenly divided on how to vote.
When Janata Dal leader George Fernandes began his rebuttal of Sibal's submissions, the effect of his speech
had made it clear that most of the MPs had not read the report of the inquiry committee. In a virtuoso
performance lasting over two hours, Fernandes tore down the defence of Sibal by reading extensively for the
first time in the House the report of the inquiry committee, and showed that Sibal had, in fact, taken the
House for a ride. He demonstrated that despite treating him with fairness and indulgence, the committee had
been forced to conclude that the judge had not been truthful on many occasions. He was not just in dicted for
making wildly extravagant purchases but for making these from a set of favoured dealers by obtaining bogus
Fernandes pointed out that the judge who had been made out by Sibal to be a saintly man of simple habits
living alone in Chandigarh, had in fact spent Rs. 11,000 on towels alone for his residence, Rs. 40,000 on
bath, table and bed linen, and had been running residential phone bills of almost Rs. 2,000 a day. "And we
had been told by the judge's counsel that the judge is a very simple man, all of whose relatives were living in
America," remarked Fernan des, and added, "but perhaps that (America) might explain the extrava gant phone
The discomfiture of Ramaswami lobbyists became obvious during Fernandes' speech. When Fernandes read
out about how Ramaswami had been grossly misusing his staff cars, Law Minister H. R. Bharadwaj put his
foot in his mouth by getting up to say, "We should be honest about this. We are all doing it." He later tried to
wriggle out of it when he was asked to speak for himself.
The last person to speak on the debate was again Somnath Chatterjee who, after demonstrating the fairness
of the committee to the judge and the judge's abomin able behaviour which had itself been held to constitute
misconduct, ended with an exhortation that Parliament was on trial on this historic motion and that the very
survival of public confidence in the judiciary and indeed in democracy itself was at stake.
With the highly effective speeches of Fernandes and Somnath Chatterjee, it became clear to Congress(I)
managers that an official vote against the motion would be suicidal for their public image. On the other hand,
the relent less campaign and pressure of the Tamil Nadu MPs and some others made it clear that if it allowed
a con science vote, as it had officially stated, the party would be split down the middle and the impeachment
motion would still go through. This, the Prime Minister seems to have calcu lated, would not only mar the
image of cohesiveness but undermine his au thority within the party. That seems to have been the calculation
Frontline, June 4, 1993
We are Still In Great INDIA,Any one can assure History never repeats......