The Kerala government on Thursday reaffirmed its enquiry order against National Human Rights Commission chairman justice KG Balakrishnan’s brother-in-law PV Sreenijan, whose wealth allegedly exceeds his stated income.
Though the state government had ordered an inquiry to this effect on January 3, it received legal advice that since Sreenijan was not a public servant, it would be difficult to proceed against him.
However, state vigilance director KP Somarajan on Thursday made it clear that the state had the powers to make the enquiry.
A Congress candidate in the 2006 assembly elections, Sreenijan was forced to quit the party last week.
Hindustan Times has published a series of reports on doubtful wealth accumulation by several relatives of Justice Balakrishnan, who is also former Chief Justice of India.
They are his brother KG Bhaskaran, a special government pleader who quit his post last week; another son-in law MJ Benny; and nephew Abhilash Chandran.
Before the Election Commission in 2006, Sreenijan had declared a bank balance of Rs 25,000 and no landed property, but his wealth grew more than one hundred times over the next four years, which overlapped with the elevation of justice Balakrishnan to the highest judicial office in the country.
Justice Balakrishnan, however, has said in a media statement that it is up to his relatives to explain their wealth.