Apex court given report on ex-chief justice Balakrishnan

New Delhi : The government Monday submitted to the Supreme Court the status report of the probe by the income tax department into allegations that relatives of former chief justice K.G. Balakrishnan had amassed huge wealth during his tenure.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar was given the report in a sealed cover by Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati, who sought three more weeks’ time to tell the court about the action the government intended to take on the basis of the investigation.

He told the court that there was evidence of some payments that were made to the former chief justice’s relatives and it had to be looked into why they were made and whether there was any linkage to the allegations against the former chief justice.

The court is hearing a public suit by NGO Common Cause and advocate M.L. Sharma seeking a probe into the wealth acquired by former chief justice Balakrishnan’s sons-in-law and brother during his tenure in the apex court.

Balakrishnan currently heads the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The NGO sought direction to the central government to make a reference to the apex court under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, for holding an inquiry against Balakrishnan allegedly for misconduct.

Section 5(2) of the Act provides for the dismissal of NHRC chairman and its members if the Supreme Court recommends their removal after holding an inquiry on a reference by the president.

Balakrishnan was elevated as a judge of the apex court in June 2000 and became the chief justice of India Jan 14, 2007. He demitted the office May 12, 2010 and subsequently was made chairman of the NHRC.

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