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Updated: February 28, 2011 02:11 IST

Balakrishnan should quit as NHRC chief: Justice Verma

PTI
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Justice J.S. Verma. File Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma
The Hindu Justice J.S. Verma. File Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

With the Income Tax Department alleging that the kin of the former Chief Justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, possess “black money,” there was a demand on Sunday by another former CJI, J.S. Verma, that Justice Balakrishnan quit as chief of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and if he did not, the President should remove him from the post.

“I think he [Justice Balakrishnan] should quit and if the allegations are not true according to him, the burden lies on him to prove them wrong and silence is no longer an option,” Justice Verma said . If Justice Balakrishnan refused to step down, Justice Verma said, “The President should move in to take action. There is after all a provision for removal. So if he chooses to keep quiet and doesn't have himself cleared, well then, the removal proceedings should be commenced,” he said.

The Income Tax authorities in Kochi alleged on Saturday that three of Justice Balakrishnan's relatives were found to possess black money, during their investigation into allegations of amassment of wealth by them.

Justice Verma said: “He [Balakrishnan] continues to be NHRC Chairman. His words hold no credibility. Corruption is the most egregious form of human rights violation. And a person accused of serious human rights violation heading the NHRC itself is a great travesty of justice.”

Maintaining that law should take its own course, Justice Verma said: “I think judges should be answerable and accountable to a yardstick, at least as strict and preferably stricter than the one that applies to others when they judge others.”

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