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SC asks Centre to respond to plea for CBI probe against ex-CJI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to file its response on an NGO’s plea seeking probe into alleged disproportionate assets amassed by former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan.

Justices Dipak Misra.
Justices Dipak Misra.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, to file the reply within six weeks.

“Let the matter be listed after six weeks. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar being assisted by Madhvi Divan, are permitted to file their reply,” the bench said.

The direction came during the hearing of a fresh plea moved by NGO ‘Common Cause’ seeking amendment of its earlier prayer for removal of Justice Balakrishnan as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), as he had already demitted the office of rights body on May 11, 2015, rendering the plea infructuous.

The NGO has sought CBI/SIT probe into alleged amassing of wealth by Justice Balakrishnan during his tenure as an apex court judge and Chairperson of the NHRC.

The court had on August 26, 2013, asked the government to file its response to the PIL seeking initiation of removal process of Justice Balakrishnan from the post of NHRC Chairman for alleged “misbehaviour” and purchase of ‘benami’ properties.

The PIL also sought a direction to the government to comply with the Supreme Court’s May 10, 2012 order by which it had asked the then President to take a decision on a complaint filed before her against Balakrishnan regarding his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court.

The apex court, however, had then refused to direct the Centre to recommend a Presidential reference for removal of Balakrishnan as the NHRC chief.

PTI

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