Plea to sack NHRC chief rejected

New Delhi, Feb. 12: The Centre has rejected a plea for removal of K.G. Balakrishnan as National Human Rights Commission chairperson for alleged assets accumulation when he was Chief Justice of India from January 2007 to June 2010. The Union home ministry said papers relating to Balakrishnan's alleged corruption had been sent to the Union law ministry "for taking appropriate action".

In a recent letter to Common Cause, an NGO, the home ministry said the sack plea could not be entertained as Balakrishnan's alleged conduct as then CJI could not be considered for his removal from the rights panel. The present post was not a judicial one and no provision was made for his removal from it for his alleged past conduct. "…the functions of the commission include to inquire, intervene, review etc. the violations of human rights and to study and spread human rights literacy among various sections of the society," the letter said.

"These functions… cannot be said to be an elongation of the judicial functions which Shri Balakrishnan discharged in the Supreme Court as Chief Justice of lndia."

"Therefore, his conduct as CJI does not appear to be a relevant ground for making a presidential reference to the Supreme Court… in respect of his continuation in his present tenure…."


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