Apex court seeks ATR in ex-CJI assets case

Apex court seeks ATR in ex-CJI assets case

The Supreme Court on Monday told the Centre to apprise it of the action taken or proposed on complaints filed against former chief justice of India and NHRC Chairman K G Balakrishnan for his alleged “misbehaviour”, including acquiring disproportionate assets.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati to inform it within a month the action taken on allegations that the former CJI had amassed wealth worth over Rs 40 crore in the name of his relatives during 2004 and 2009.

“We want to know what has been done on the representation and what the government intends to do,” the bench said.

NGO Common Cause has filed a PIL seeking direction to the government to probe the charges against Justice Balakrishnan.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, submitted that no action has been taken in the matter even though the government was petitioned 10 months ago.

“There is overwhelming evidence indicating that Justice Balakrishnan has been guilty of several acts of grave misbehaviour, the government has not taken any steps for his removal from the NHRC,” the petition alleged.

It sought a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs to make a reference to the Supreme Court for an inquiry against him as mandated under Section 5 (2) of the Human Rights Act, 1993. The NGO referred to media reports alleging the purchase of “benami” properties in the name of former aide M Kannabiran.

It also relied upon “evasive and false replies” given in response to an RTI application seeking details of assets declared by judges and “suppressing” a letter written by a Madras High Court judge alleging that former Union Minister A Raja tried to interfere in his judicial function and later “lying” to the press that he had not received any such letter implicating any Union Minister.

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