The former Chief Justice of India and Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, K.G. Balakrishnan, on Monday defended his decision to confirm the late Justice S. Ashok Kumar as a judge of the Madras High Court.
Speaking to The Hindu , Justice Balakrishnan denied allegations levelled by Press Council of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju that he, as the then Chief Justice, had confirmed a “corrupt judge.”
Justice Balakrishnan maintained that he got a satisfactory report from the former Chief Justice of the Madras High Court about Justice Ashok Kumar and it was on the basis of that report that he confirmed the judge.
Asked whether the allegations of “corruption” against Justice Ashok Kumar were considered by him, Justice Balakrishnan said, “I did not receive any report of corruption from the High Court Chief Justice. He [former Chief Justice of the Madras HC] only said that Justice Ashok Kumar had close connections with some DMK leaders. In view of this, Justice Ashok Kumar was transferred to the Andhra Pradesh High Court. I don’t know whether these allegations were deleted [as alleged by Justice Katju] by the then Chief Justice of the High Court.”
“Only at the time of consideration for appointment as a judge, the views of the collegium judges are taken into account. At the time of confirmation, normally no such consultation takes place. Also report of the Intelligence Bureau is sought only for initial appointments,” the former CJI said.