President to look into complaint against ex-CJI Balakrishnan: SC
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The Supreme Court today asked the President to take a decision on a complaint filed before her against the NHRC Chairman and former CJI K G Balakrishnan regarding his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court.
The apex court, however, refused to direct the Centre to recommend a Presidential reference for removal of Balakrishnan as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and J S Khehar said if there is any truth in the allegations, then it is for the President to make a reference to the Supreme Court, on the advice of Council of Ministers, for inquiry against the former Chief Justice of India.
"In the peculiar facts noticed hereinabove, we are satisfied, that the instant petition deserves to be disposed of by requesting the competent authority to take a decision on the communication dated April 4 2011 (addressed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, to the President of India).
"If the allegations, in the aforesaid determination, are found to be unworthy of any further action, the petitioner shall be informed accordingly. Alternatively, the President of India, based on the advice of the Council of Ministers, may proceed with the matter in accordance with the mandate of Section 5(2) of the 1993 Act," the bench said.
The court passed the order on a PIL by civil society Common Cause, which had sought directions from the court to the government to make a Presidential reference to the apex court for removal of Balakrishnan as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The NGO had alleged that the ex-CJI and his relatives amassed wealth far exceeding their legal income during Balakrishnan's tenure as an apex court judge.
Interpreting the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the bench said that it is for the President to take a decision on the reference for the removal of the Chairman.
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