PIL on Justice K G Balakrishnan: Supreme Court seeks government reply

Balakrishnan K G Balakrishnan. (IE Photo)

The Supreme Court asked the Centre to file its response on a PIL seeking initiation of removal process of former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan from the post of NHRC Chairman for his alleged "misbehaviour" and purchase of benami properties.

"At this stage, we are asking the Centre to file its response within three weeks," a bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan said.

During the brief hearing, the bench said let the Ministry of Law and Justice apprise the court about the status of the earlier complaint filed on this issue.

"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," lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who has filed the PIL on behalf of NGO Common Cause, said.

"We want to know as to whether they (Centre) have disposed of the complaint or it is still pending with them," the bench said. The PIL sought the competent authority to make a reference to the apex court to hold 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 has been guilty of several acts of "grave misbehaviour", the government has refused to initiate the process for his removal from the office of Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The PIL also sought a direction to the government to comply with the Supreme Court's May 10, 2012 order by which it had asked the then President to take a decision on a complaint filed before her against Balakrishnan regarding his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court. The apex court, however, had refused to direct the Centre to recommend a Presidential reference for removal of Balakrishnan as the chief of NHRC.

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