Troubles mounted for former CJI K G Balakrishnan on Wednesday when a local court directed police to look into charges of amassing wealth by his family members into which I-T department also began a probe.
Acting on a private complaint, a Thiruvananthapuram court ordered the Kochi police commissioner to probe the allegations of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income against Balakrishnan's sons-in-law P V Sreenijan and M J Benny and brother K G Bhaskaran.
The directive by the judicial magistrate A M Basheer was issued on a private complaint by one Francis Pradeeplal, who sought an inquiry into the allegations.
In a related development, the Income Tax investigation wing said it had begun a preliminary inquiry into the charges that the family members of Balakrishnan, who is the chairperson of National Human Rights Commission.
"Preliminary enquiry is on," a source in the IT department told PTI in Kochi.
Asked if anyone was questioned, the sources said 'We are looking into the matter', but refused to give any details.
Director General of Income Tax Investigation, E T Lukose, and other senior officials are looking into the allegations.
Today's court directive and the I-T probe come days after a vigilance court in Thrissur admitted a petition filed by an NGO seeking an investigation into the charges. Balakrishnan is named as the first respondent in the case before a Thrissur court which will come up for further hearing on January 18.
After the allegations surfaced, Sreenijan had resigned from Youth Congress while Bhaskaran had quit as government pleader in the high court.
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan meanwhile said he had not received any report on legal hurdles in conducting a vigilance inquiry into allegations against Sreenijan.
"I did not receive any information," Achuthanandan said when reporters sought his reaction to the reported opinion of Vigilance legal advisor on "unviability" of ordering a probe into allegations against Sreenijan.
Achuthanandan had last week recommended a probe after he received a private complaint against Sreenijan, following which it was referred to vigilance and anti-corruption bureau's legal advisor to examine the feasibility of a probe.