23 September, 2020

Best Judge Himself

The clamour rises for under-probe K.G. Balakrishnan to quit NHRC

Jitender Gupta
Best Judge Himself

The last thing that a government busy dousing its own fires wants is another blaze. With the UPA, however, you never know. First its nomination of P.J. Thomas as the chief vigilance commissioner had to be noisily rescinded. Now, the appointment of former chief justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, as the head of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has run into a thick fog of uncertainty.

It was on June 22 that the Union home ministry wrote to revenue secretary Sunil Mitra to institute an inquiry against Balakrishnan. Mitra, in turn, directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to probe allegations that the income and assets of the judge as well as his kin showed a sudden increase during his tenure as CJI from January 2007 to May 2010. The inquiry was ordered following media reports and 15 complaints, including a PIL, filed in the Supreme Ccourt.

The CBDT investigation has put a big question mark over Balakrishnan continuing as NHRC chairman. In legal as well as political circles, the view is that...



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