The 15th State conference of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) adopted a resolution on Monday seeking a probe into the allegations against the family members of the former Chief Justice, K.G. Balakrishnan.

Demanding that Mr. Balakrishnan step down from the post of the National Human Rights Commission chairman for the probe, the AITUC resolution noted that the allegations against his family members were creating concern over the functioning of the entire judiciary.

Mr. Balakrishnan had not been made the chairman of the NHRC based on his activities as a human rights activist, but because he was the former Chief Justice, the note said.

Since he had not resigned from the post, it was up to the government to ask him to step down and initiate a probe so that the trust the public had in the judicial system could be regained, the resolution said.

The State conference, which began here on Sunday, also passed a resolution seeking the release of human rights activist Binayak Sen and said the Central government had the responsibility of restoring democracy and human rights in Chattisgarh, where, the AITUC said, several Communist Party of India (CPI) and AITUC members who had contested elections were arrested and jailed without valid reasons.

The sedition charges booked against Mr. Sen could not be justified since he had never instigated anyone against the system, neither did he nurture any relations with any banned outfit, the resolution said.

Earlier, addressing the conference, CPI assistant secretary K.E. Ismail, MP, said the country, a model for democracy to the entire world, was now drowning in corruption. The Union government was acting as if it had nothing to do with the severe economic crisis that was plaguing the country. Calling upon workers' organisations to raise their voice against such trends, Mr. Ismail said the Centre was only aggravating the price rise crisis with its nonchalant attitude.

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