Friday, 1 July 2016

In defence of Justice S.N. Dhingra
When I was Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court S.N. Dhingra was the District Judge, Delhi ( in those days there was only one district judge in Delhi, now there are several ).
Being the senior most judge in the subordinate judiciary, he was in line for becoming a High Court judge.. Dhingra had the highest reputation of integrity and competence.
However, a very senior Delhi High Court judge was very inimical to him. I was told that this was ...because that High Court Judge's private secretary was appointed a special magistrate in Delhi, at that High Court Judge's instance. Dhingra exposed that special magistrate's alleged corruption, and took proceedings aagainst him. This so incensed the High Court judge that he wanted to obstruct Dhingra's elevation to the High Court.
That High Court judge was known to be close to the then CJI Justice Sabharwal. So I went to Justice Sabharwal at his residence and told him that it will send a very bad message if Dhingra, who has a very high reputation for his integrity and competence, is superseded and not appointed a High Court judge while his juniors are elevated. At this, Justice Sabharwal intervened, and Dhingra was elevated as a High Court judge, and he proved to be an excellent judge.
After his elevation Dhingra came to meet me, and I asked him what he would have done had he been superseded ? He replied he would have resigned.
Now a controversy has been raised by certain Congressmen concerning Justice Dhingra, who is investigating Vadra's land deals, about a charitable trust headed by Dhingra. This is his reply :
" Reacting to the Congress allegations, Justice Dhingra said, ' The trust is not mine. It was set up by former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Gopal Singh, who did not have any child, and who donated his entire property to the trust. The trust runs a charitable hospital in Gurgaon. In 2011, after my retirement, I was approached by the other trustees to take over as chairman, which I accepted.

Sometime back, one Harish Chakravarty offered to donate some land to the trust to run a school in his mother’s name. Since a school wasn’t possible, the trust decided to start a skill centre to provide skill education to people, especially young children, of nearby areas. The trust spent about Rs 10 lakh to set up the centre. I wrote to the Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner to construct a road to the centre. Where is the wrongdoing? It is only for the benefit of the people,” he said.
I am inclined to believe Justice Dhingra
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