PM’s silence on Balakrishnan issue baffling: Krishna Iyer

Sunday, January 23, 2011

KOCHI - Retired justice V.R. Krishna Iyer has now turned his guns on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his silence on the allegations linked to former supreme court chief justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

Speaking to reporters at his residence here Sunday, Iyer said that he is baffled by the prime minister’s stoic silence on the issue.

“Do you know that it was Justice V. Giri, who resigned last year from the Kerala High Court, who had come to meet me with a plea that I should not write about the Balakrishnan issue to the prime minister,” Iyer said.

“I told him now that a lot has been written about the issue in the media, there is no purpose for my letter and so I will not write again to the prime minister,” he added.

It was in December 2010 that Iyer launched his tirade against Balakrishnan, who is now the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), following allegations of widespread amassment of wealth by his relatives.

Since then, time and again, Iyer has lashed out at Balakrishnan, even asking him to quit the NHRC post and face a probe.

Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan later ordered vigilance probe into the amassing of wealth by Balakrishnan’s son-in-law P.V. Srinijin, a former Youth Congress leader who quit the party after the allegations surfaced.

Also, similar allegations forced Balakrishnan’s brother K.G. Bhaskaran to resign from the post of special government counsel.

Iyer (95), who retired from Supreme Court in 1980, remains active in raising issues of corruption and graft in public offices.

He was the law and irrigation minister in the world’s first elected Communist government in Kerala in 1957 led by E.M.S. Namboodiripad.

He was appointed a judge of the Kerala High Court in 1968 and elevated to the Supreme Court in 1973.

He was a member of the apex court bench which passed a landmark ruling directing the government to provide free legal services to the accused in custody.

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