Refer allegations against Balakrishnan to apex court, president urgedApril 5th, 2011 - 12:45 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) An organisation of jurists and civil rights activists Monday urged President Pratibha Patil to refer the allegations of corruption against former chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan to the Supreme Court so that he can be removed as human rights panel chief.
In a memorandum submitted to the president, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR), has urged the reference against Balakrishnan, the current chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), be made under the Section 5 (I) of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
“As per law, the NHRC chairman can be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour or after the Supreme Court, on a reference made by the President and an inquiry, decides for the removal,” it said.
The memorandum said: “In the past few months, the news of close relatives and a former aide of Justice K.G. Balakrishnan possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income has been covered widely by the national media. The CJAR has also come across other instances of grave misbehaviour by Justice Balakrishnan during his tenure as the Chief Justice of India.”
Some of the “known instances of misbehaviour on part of Justice Balakrishnan” include his “benami (proxy) properties in the names of his daughters, sons-in-law and brother.”
It alleged P.V. Sreenijan, husband of Soni, the elder daughter of Balakrishnan, had amassed huge wealth during Balakrishnan’s tenure. Various properties acquired by Sreenijan, a Congress leader who unsuccessfully contested the assembly polls in Kerala, and Soni after Justice Balakrishnan became the chief justice have been unearthed, the memorandum said.
“Justice Balakrishnan’s second son-in-law, advocate M.J. Benny, also became considerably wealthier after his marriage to Rani, Justice Balakrishnan’s younger daughter, particularly during Justice Balakrishnan’s tenure as CJI,” the memorandum claimed.
“Justice Balakrishnan’s brother K.G. Bhaskaran, who was a senior government pleader at Kerala High Court, also possesses property beyond his known sources of income,” it said, adding Bhaskaran resigned his post after these facts came to light.
“This amassing of wealth beyond their known source by the kin of Justice Balakrishnan during his tenure as Judge/Chief Justice of the Supreme Court clearly indicates that this wealth was given to these people as illegal gratification to the then Justice Balakrishnan,” the memorandum said.
The memorandum also cited how Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi misused his discretionary power and allotted two prime plots of land in Chennai to M. Kannabiran, a former aide of Justice Balakrishnan.
It also noted that in spite of representations made by the Bar Association of India, the Supreme Court Bar Association, Forum for Judicial Accountability and many noted jurists, Justice Balakrishnan resisted all the attempts to stop the elevation of the controversial judge Paul Dinakaran, the CJAR said.
“Even after the central government rejected the collegium’s recommendation for elevation of Justice Dinakaran in December 2009 and impeachment proceedings against Justice Dinakaran had started, Justice Balakrishnan defended Justice Dinakaran as late as on January 16, 2010,” the memorandum said.
The memorandum also charged Balakrishnan with having “suppressed a letter written by a 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.”
“The facts show that Justice Balakrishnan has been guilty of several acts of serious misbehaviour. We, therefore, request you to kindly make a reference to the Supreme Court for inquiry into the above acts of misbehaviour of Justice K.G. Balakrishnan,” it said.
A copy of the memorandum has been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too.
Earlier , Balakrishnan had denied the charges, saying they were regarding his relatives and not against him.
- Apex court poser on plea against rights panel chief (Lead) - Feb 13, 2012
- SC tells government to decide on Balakrishnan case (Lead) - May 10, 2012
- Income Tax returns: Moily defends former CJI Balakrishnan - Feb 15, 2011
- Income Tax returns: 'I have nothing to hide', says former CJI - Feb 15, 2011
- Ex-CJI's three kins found in possession of black money: Income Tax department - Feb 26, 2011
- Apex court seeks report on plaint against Balakrishnan (Lead) - Feb 18, 2011
- Kerala CM recommends vigilance probe against former CJI's son-in-law - Jan 03, 2011
- Balakrishnan's son-in-law resigns from Youth Congress - Jan 05, 2011
- Apex court given report on ex-chief justice Balakrishnan (Lead) - Mar 12, 2012
- SC tells government to decide on Balakrishnan case - May 10, 2012
- Apex court reserves order on suit against Balakrishnan - May 07, 2012
- Iyer now attacks CPI-M - Jan 05, 2011
- Centre submits report on former chief justice Balakrishnan - Mar 12, 2012
- Remove Balakrishnan as NHRC chief: Prashant Bhushan - Dec 28, 2010
- Times have changed for K.G. Balakrishnan (Letter from Kerala) - Jan 11, 2011
Tags: apex court, assembly polls, balakrishnan, chief justice of india, civil rights activists, congress leader, elder daughter, human rights act, human rights act 1993, human rights commission, judicial accountability, jurists, kerala, memorandum, misbehaviour, national human rights commission, panel chief, prashant, president pratibha patil, younger daughter