Govt gets SC notice on ex-CJIs removal from NHRC top post

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 29 2013, 07:53am hrs
The Supreme Court on Monday sought a reply from the Centre on a PIL seeking the removal of former chief justice of India KG Balakrishnan from the post of NHRC chairman for alleged misbehaviour and role in the purchase of benami properties.

A bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan asked the ministry of home affairs to apprise the court about the status of the earlier complaint filed on the issue.

We want to know as to whether they (Centre) have disposed of the complaint or it is still pending with them, the bench said after counsel Prashant Bhushan argued that more than two-and-a-half years have elapsed since we made the complaint with them. The complaint was supported by documents also. This issue cannot be allowed to go on and on.

The PIL filed by NGO Common Cause sought the competent authority to make a reference to the apex court to hold an inquiry against Balakrishnan.

The main allegation pertains to purchasing benami properties in the names of his daughters, sons-in-law and brother. The respondent No. 2 (Balakrishnan) and his kin continue to enjoy these properties or the profits earned from them even at present, the petition said.

It alleged that despite there being evidence indicating that Balakrishnan was guilty of several acts of grave misbehaviour, the government refused to initiate the process for his removal from the office of chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The PIL also sought direction to the government to comply with the Supreme Courts May 10, 2012 order by which it had asked the then-President Pratibha Patil to take a decision on a complaint against Balakrishnan regarding his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court.