The income tax department confirmed on Saturday that at least three relatives of Justice KG Balakrishnan, former chief justice of India and National Human Rights Commission chairman, had been holding a huge amount of black money.
Regional director general of taxes ET Lucos said, “As far as Justice Balakrishanan is concerned, we can’t say anything. But his two sons-in-law and brother possess black money.” He, however, refused to disclose the amount unearthed so far.
Two weeks ago, Balakrishnan asked the income tax unit in Kochi not to disclose the details of his I-T returns that had been sought under the Right to Information Act. He argued that the CJI’s office was out of the purview of the Act.
Asked if Balakrishnan would also be questioned, Lucos said, “I can’t say anything now. We have probed the assets they (the
relatives) procured during the last five years. Investigations are on.” The probe will be completed by the next month.
HT carried a series of reports — based on documents fished out of government offices in Tamil Nadu and Kerala — in January on Balakrishnan’s sons-in-law, brother and nephew amassing wealth disproportionate to their income.
Following that, Balakrishnan’s brother KG Bhaskaran had to quit as a government pleader, while one of his sons-in-law, VP Sreenijan, quit the Youth Congress. Later, the I-T department’s Kochi unit was asked to probe the wealth of Balakrishnan’s relatives. “We will quiz them again to find out the source of the money,” Lucos said.
The Kerala government has already ordered a vigilance probe into the wealth of his elder son-in-law, Sreenijan. Sreenijan showed a bank balance of R25,000 and no landed property in an affidavit filed with the Election Commission in 2006. But his wealth was found to have grown more than one hundred times in the next four years.
Justice Balakrishnan became the Chief Justice of India in 2007.
Although at least seven of his relatives are under scanner various quarters — including legal luminaries, political parties and various bar associations —demanding his version, the NHRC chief is yet to break his silence.