Saturday, December 19, 2009

Justice D V Shylendra Kumar takes a stand - Again

Justice D V Shylendra Kumar may seem like a lone warrior in judiciary against corruption seeping through high judiciary, but he is not alone as most Indian citizens are behind him. There are other campaigners outside of judiciary like Mr Prashant Bhushan but Justice Shylendra Kumar seems to be the only one from within judiciary who is speaking out against judicial corruption.

First news item below where he has spoken out against Justice PD Dinakaran continuing his administrative duties in high court when he is not allowed to function in judicial duties as chief justice of Karnataka high court.

Subhash Chandra N S, Dec 18,Bangalore:

The Karnataka High Court was on Friday plunged into a fresh bout of turmoil when a sitting judge publicly asked a beleagured Chief Justice P D Dinakaran to proceed on leave.

Justice D V Shylendra Kumar’s stand came on a day when Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said Justice Dinakaran’s name had not been dropped from consideration for elevation to the Supreme Court, but only held in abeyance in view of the Rajya Sabha chairman admitting a motion of impeachment against him.

Refuting media reports, Justice Balakrishnan said: “(There is) no question of bringing him in at this stage; it (his name) has been kept in abeyance.”
But Justice Shylendra Kumar, who is at present camping in Gulbarga where he is presiding over the Circuit Bench, described Justice Dinakaran as “a mis-conducting judge” who is “continuing to remain in office and perpetuating misconduct to the great detriment of the public interest and at the cost of the exchequer.” In August this year, Justice Kumar was one of the first judges of any high court in the country to have made public his assets.

Demanding nothing less than Justice Dinakaran proceeding on leave, Justice Kumar stepped up his anger and anguish at his senior colleague continuing to perform administrative functions. In an article, which he posted on his website on Thursday, Justice Kumar says: “The Chief Justice may even now continue to abuse and misuse his powers (including the power to recommend names of persons to be appointed as Judges of the High Court after eliciting the views of his colleagues in the collegium) even when he is no more discharging his duties as Chief Justice of the High Court.”
Meeting of judges

This prompted him to “direct” the high court Registrar General R B Budihal on Thursday to convene a meeting of all judges of the Karnataka High Court, including the Chief Justice, “for the purpose of discussing the propriety, the justification and the desirability of the Chief Justice...exercising functions on the admininstrative side...”
In his missive, Justice Kumar writes that he wanted to “share his views with my colleagues on the bench and after discussing the matter, for taking appropriate decision with (the) other judges.”

Justice Kumar’s direction to Budihal was to “circulate a requisition immediately”, fixing the meeting time for 11 am on Saturday at the high court’s conference hall.
But in a December 18 letter, communicated to the High Court Additional Registrar General, Budhial states that “after perusing the same (Justice Kumar’s faxed letter of December 17), the Hon’ble Chief Justice has directed to file the same”.

In the same letter, Budhial “requested” the Additional Registrar General to “bring the above said fact to the notice of His Lordship, Hon’ble Shri Justice D V Shylendra Kumar.”

When contacted by Deccan Herald, Budhial refused to clarify what he meant by the expression “directed to file the same.”

But in his article (see Panorama page) Justice Kumar makes it clear: “The Chief Justice, before whom the matter was placed for orders, has declined permission for the meeting to take place on Saturday.”

From his various letters it seems Justice Kumar will go hammer and tongs at the issue. In one of his letters, he writes: “Grace and propriety require that a file containing a proposal of this nature should have been directed to be placed before any other judge of the HC for orders, if at all an order is needed....Well, grace, propriety and good conduct are definitely not the strong points of our Chief Justice.”

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