The Supreme Court today refused to direct the government to recommend a presidential reference for the removal of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman Justice K G Balakrishnan for serious misbehaviour during his term as Chief Justice of India.
It is only upon the satisfaction of the President,that a reference can be made to the Supreme Court for holding an enquiry, said the Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and J S Khehar,responding to a petition filed by an NGO,Common Cause,seeking removal of Balakrishnan as NHRC chief.
The NGO,represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan,argued that a communication sent to the President on April 4 last year by Campaign for Judicial Accountability in this connection received no response.
Asking the competent authority to take a decision,the court said: If the allegations are found to be unworthy of further action,the petitioner shall be informed accordingly. Alternatively,the President… may proceed with the matter in accordance with the mandate of Section 5(2) of the 1993 Act.
Under Section 5(2),it is up to the President to decide if there is any prima facie evidence to hold an enquiry against an incumbent chief or member of the NHRC.