SC asks govt. to reply to PIL on removing ex-CJI Balakrishnan as NHRC chief

New Delhi, Aug.26 (ANI): The Centre was asked by the Supreme Court on Monday to file a reply on a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought the removal of former chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan from the post of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman for his alleged "misbehaviour" and purchase of benami properties.

An apex court bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan asked the government to file its reply by September 16.

The bench also asked 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 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 Supreme Court to hold inquiry against Justice 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 Justice 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 NHRC. (ANI with inputs)