Former NHRC member demands Balakrishnan's resignation



New Delhi: In the wake of reports that the assets of his son-in-law have grown 120 times in four years, former NHRC member Sudarshan Agarwal on Friday demanded the resignation of KG Balakrishnan as chairperson of the rights watchdog to "redeem" his reputation.

Agarwal also asked Balakrishnan, the former Chief Justice of India, to face an inquiry to clear his name from any whiff of wrong doing.

"Corruption, to my mind, is a serious violation of human rights and surely the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission must not be perceived to be a violator of human rights. It is, therefore, necessary to clear your name," the former governor of Sikkim said in his letter to Balakrishnan.

Justice VR Krishna Iyer has appealed to President Pratibha Patil to politely advise Balakrishnan to resign as chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and offer himself for an inquiry to be conducted by a panel of 3 eminent judges.

"This is the only way you can redeem your reputation...If people lose their faith in the judiciary, it will be a sad day for the country and a big blow to our democratic polity," he said.

Sudarshan also recalled that when Balakrishnan was the CJI, he had written to him expressing his concern about retired Supreme Court judges engaging in arbitration cases while holding office as chairmen of various commissions as also appearing in foreign courts on behalf of private parties.

"I did not receive any reply even though two of your predecessors did write back to me agreeing with what I said, but they too did not take any steps to stem this unhealthy practice," he said.

He also asked Balakrishnan to consider resigning from the present office and offer to face "an inquiry to clear your name from any whiff of wrong doing. This will restore your credibility and also strengthen public confidence in the institution of judiciary the bulwark of democracy."

Media reports had said that the son-in-law of Balakrishnan had amassed property worth crores of rupees in the last few years.

PTI