SC seeks govt reply on removal of NHRC chief

SC seeks govt reply on removal of NHRC chief

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to respond to a fresh PIL urging initiation of steps to remove former Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan as National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman on a charge of “misbehaviour” (corruption).

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde directed the solicitor general to file a response within three weeks on the petition filed by an NGO, Common Cause.

The petition sought direction to the government for recommending a Presidential reference to the apex court for holding an inquiry under the Protection of Human Rights Act. During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the government had refused to act on the complaint filed against Justice Balakrishnan.

More than two years and six months have elapsed since a communication was sent on April 4, 2011, by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms to the President, he pointed out. This cannot be allowed to go on for an indefinite period of time.

A letter sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the petitioner on January 29 claimed that the matter was forwarded to the Law Ministry for taking appropriate action.

The bench, which referred to the letter, was keen to know if the matter has been disposed of or is still being considered.

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