Balakrishnan asked to quit over kin’s wrongdoing

Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW DELHI - Former Supreme Court chief justice K.G. Balakrishnan is under pressure to quit as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chief over corruption allegations against his family.

With the income tax department saying that relatives of Balakrishnan hold unaccounted money, a section of the legal fraternity wants him to step down and face a fair investigation.

Jurist Anil Diwan told IANS that Balakrishnan should come clean in public domain. “It is no more in the private domain of the former chief justice.”

He said as the office of the chief justice was getting embroiled in a row, Balakrishnan needed to clear the air, he added.

Tax authorities have said they have unearthed unaccounted money possessed by close relatives of the former chief justice, including son-in-law P.V. Srinijin.

Srinijin is a Youth Congress leader who quit the party after the allegations surfaced.

Diwan pointed out that Balakrishnan no more enjoyed any constitutional protection.

Senior counsel Prashant Bhushan said: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that a number of close relatives of Balakrishnan possess disproportionate assets.

“It has become imperative that his own assets and that of his close relatives should be thoroughly investigated.”

Bhushan added: “It is high time that corrupt judges who have occupied high judicial offices are brought to book.”

Former chief justice J.S. Verma has added to the chorus.

He told a television channel Sunday that President Pratibha Patil should step in to redeem the situation.

Former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer said earlier that Balakrishnnan should face an inquiry by a panel of three judges. This was the only way he could redeem his reputation, he said.

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