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NHRC Head and the State of Judiciary in India

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JudiciarySupreme Court moves for removal of ExCJI Balakrishnan as NHRC Head the retirement of SCICJ Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan 2 years ago has opened the stinking Pandora’s Box of corruption even at the highest level in Indian judiciary.

(Incidentally I have not come across many news items, where a lawyer has been prosecuted for corruption by income authorities and any other illegal actions. If upset the lawyers will file cases against you in Tirpur, Tirpura and Ferozepur and keep you occupied for the rest of your life and money for legal defense). Kiran Bedi was hounded by the lawyers and they put up pitched battles last year in Chennai against the police. Only on the bench they become corrupt it would seem.

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the competent authority at the Centre i.e. the President to look into the allegation of judicial misconduct against the former chief justice of India and current National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman (KG Balakrishnan) for his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court. KGB has reportedly refused to declare his assets and properties, if any.

The court passed the order on a PIL (public interest litigation) by non-government organization (NGO) Common Cause, which had sought directions from the court to the government to make a presidential reference to the apex court for removal of former CJI Balakrishnan as the chairman of NHRC.

At the same time SC Advocate Prashant Bhushan has refused to apologies to SCI as he faces contempt of court for statements in a magazine interview that according to his “perception” half of the past 16 to 17 Chief Justices of India were corrupt. Bhushan declined the court’s suggestion in December 2010 to apologies for the alleged remarks and close the chapter on the contempt proceedings in the SC. In fact Bhushan’s father and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, a former Law Minister, in one hearing, challenged the bench in open court to send him to jail for supporting his son’s claims.

It is alleged that Balakrishnan was first nominated to the SCI at the insistence of President Narayanan , even though the former was not fully qualified .Once in ,he decided that it was Christmas every day or at least for his relatives at least , who allegedly started making hay.

But what about Bhusans’ public statements above and refusal to withdraw the allegations.

Addressing a seminar in Chandigarh in 2008, on ‘The responsibility of judicial system towards society’ organized by the Intellectual Associations Chandigarh, SC Justice Singhvi said that due to the harassment a common man suffers in his pursuit of justice, 95 per cent of the masses avoid going to courts at all and choose to suffer silently. “The five per cent who do go wait in queue for many long years and empty out their pockets to hire a lawyer. It is a nightmare for the common man to approach a higher court,” he said, adding that this is the reason people have started taking the law in their hands. Throwing light on the common problem of delayed justice, he ruled that the enormous delay in trials has shattered the public’s confidence in the judiciary. (I have little faith in judiciary having once gone to the CAT)

Coming back to ex Justice Balakrishnan, it is alleged that he had refused to promote some of the current members of the SC bench from High Courts.


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