Ex-CJI gives clean chit to kin
After a silence of almost six months, former chief justice and National Human Rights Commission chairman KG Balakrishnan defended his relatives on Sunday and criticised the income tax department for raising allegations against them.india Updated: May 09, 2011 01:09 IST
After a silence of almost six months, former chief justice and National Human Rights Commission chairman KG Balakrishnan defended his relatives on Sunday and criticised the income tax department for raising allegations against them.
At least seven relatives of justice Balakrishnan — who became the CJI in 2007 — are under the I-T scanner.
There were charges of assets disproportionate to their income against his two sons-in-law, brother and nephew. His brother KG Bhaskaran had quit his government job. His son-in-law VP Sreenijan had resigned from the Youth Congress after a vigilance inquiry was ordered against him.
Talking to newsmen in Kochi, jstice Balakrishnan dared the I-T department to find any black money belonging to his relatives. “Not a single paisa was seized from any of my relatives, it is sad that a senior I-T official has made baseless allegations to defame me,” he said.
In February, ET Lucose, I-T director of Kochi region, claimed that his department had evidence of three relatives of the former CJI possessing huge amounts of black money.
When an RTI inquiry was filed, justice Balakrishnan asked I-T authorities not to disclose the details of his I-T returns, saying the CJI’s office was out of the purview of the RTI Act.
Explaining why he didn’t take legal recourse, justice Balakrishnan said: “A particular lobby is behind these allegations. The media can find out the truth. I have limitations in filing defamation suits.”
Asked how some of his relatives had amassed wealth while he was in office, he said: “What wealth you are talking about, 30 cents (one acre is 100 cents) of land? Properties in Tamil Nadu were brought in 2005.”
In his affidavit filed with the Election Commission in 2006, Sreenijan, a Congress candidate in the 2006 assembly polls, had said he had a bank balance of Rs 25,000 and owned no landed property. But his wealth allegedly grew a hundred-fold in the next four years.
Justice Balakrishnan’s other son-in-law MJ Benny and brother Bhaskaran had allegedly bought properties worth crores of rupees over the last five years.