Months after refusing to declare his assets, former chief justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan has disclosed his assets and liabilities for 2009 and 2010, but has not provided information for 2007 and 2008.
Balakrishnan, who heads the National Human Rights Commission, informed the Income Tax Department in April this year that he was not willing to disclose his assets as they were not related to any public interest.
A Kerala-based RTI activist had sought his I-T returns and assets from 2005 to 2009, which the I-T department had refused to provide following the former CJI's direction.
Under the transparency law, any third party information can be provided only after seeking consent from the concerned person. Now, there seems to be a change of heart with Balakrishnan's office in NHRC making his assets public in a reply to another RTI plea.
The reply says that the former CJI has not made an investment in shares and does not even have a fixed deposit. Balakrishnan, however, has five properties in his name, which includes a house in village Thrikkakara in Kerala.
He has also listed his family property worth Rs 3.5 lakh in Kerala among his assets.
Apart from that, Balakrishnan has a two bedroom flat and a plot in Ernakulum, costing about Rs 10 lakh. He also owns a residential flat in Faridabad, Haryana.
The former CJI does not seem to have penchant for vehicles and just has a Santro car of 2000 model. His wife Nirmala Balakrishnan owns a property in Kottayam district of Kerala.
What Balakrishnan has prevented is comparison of his wealth, if any. He didn't provide information about his wealth between 2006 and 2008 and for the period 2009 and 2010 the declaration has remained same.
The information about his assets were significant in wake of the then Left government in Kerala initiating probe against some of his relatives on allegations of accumulating wealth much more than their known sources of income.