Facing an impeachment motion in Rajya Sabha, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran -- who is caught in a quagmire of allegations of land grabbing and possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of income -- will not be hearing any cases till further orders.
A one-line notification issued by the High Court Registrar General Budhihal on Wednesday said that Justice Dinakaran will not be presiding over the bench till further orders.
It was not immediately clear whether Justice Dinakaran has himself withdrawn from judicial duties or was directed to so.
Sources said Justice Dinakaran has himself opted out of judicial duties and that he would only take up administrative matters.
Justice Dinakaran has not been presiding over any case during the past one week.
A united Opposition on Monday initiated the process of impeachment of Justice Dinakaran by moving a notice in Rajya Sabha, signed by 76 members, for his removal.
The 55-page notice, listing 12 acts of misbehaviour by Justice Dinakaran, was submitted to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari under Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968. Barring Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, MPs of almost all parties in Rajya Sabha signed the notice.
Justice Dinakaran has denied all the charges against him.
Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran include possessing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, entering into benami transactions, and acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond ceiling limit.
Other allegations related to illegal encroachment on government and public property to deprive Dalits and poor of their livelihood, violation of human rights of Dalits and poor and destruction of evidence during official enquiry.
Accusing the judge of abusing his judicial office, the motion alleged that Justice Dinakaran passed dishonest judicial orders in matters where he had personal and direct pecuniary interest. BJP's Arun Jaitley demanded that Justice Dinakaran should not continue.
The elevation of Justice Dinakaran has also been put on hold after it was mired in controversy.
Justice Dinakaran also reportedly suggested to Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to set up a three-judge in-house panel to probe the charges.
His contention was that while unsubstantiated charges were flying thick and fast against him, he had no opportunity or a forum to prove his innocence. Justice Dinakaran later, reportedly, withdrew his offer for submitting himself for inquiry before the in-house panel after he was told about the implications of his suggestion.