Around 21 properties have been acquired in the names of son, daughter and brother of the Ex. CJI K.G. Balakrishnan
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to submit the Income Tax assessment details of kith and kin of former CJI K.G. Balakrishnan during his tenure as an apex court judge and Chairperson of the NHRC.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to file the assessment orders of I-T returns after he submitted that all the kin of Justice Balakrishnan were not party to the case and they were private parties who have been filing their returns.
“You file a chart indicating their assessment orders of Income Tax for our perusal,” a bench also comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh said while hearing a PIL, filed by NGO Common Cause, seeking CBI probe into alleged amassing of wealth by the kith and kin of Justice Balakrishnan during his tenure as an apex court judge and Chairperson of the NHRC.
During the hearing, Rohatgi said that brothers, sisters and other relatives of Justice Balakrishnan are not party to the case and are subjected to Income Tax.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, had said that the prayer seeking removal of Justice Balakrishnan as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has become infructuous as he has already demitted the office.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 12.
On September 15 last year, the apex court had sought the assistance of the Attorney General to hear a plea and had made it clear that it would not go into the allegations of ‘benami’ transactions. It had said the issue of alleged Income Tax violations could have been looked into.
Bhushan had alleged that around 21 properties have been acquired in the names of son, daughter and brother of the former CJI.
Moreover, the queries of the IT department on sources of income have not been sufficiently replied to, he had said while referring to the reports of the tax authorities.
The court had on August 26, 2013, asked the government to file its response to the PIL seeking initiation of removal process of Justice Balakrishnan from the post of NHRC Chairman for alleged “misbehaviour” and purchase of ‘benami’ properties.
The PIL had sought that the competent authority make a reference to the apex court to hold an inquiry against Balakrishnan. “The main allegation pertains to purchasing benami properties in the names of his daughters, sons-in-law and brother. The respondent no. 2 (Balakrishnan) and his kin continue to enjoy these properties or the profits earned from them even at present,” the petition has claimed.
The PIL also sought a direction to the government to comply with the Supreme Court’s May 10, 2012 order by which it had asked the then President to take a decision on a complaint filed before her against Balakrishnan regarding his alleged misconduct during his tenure as a judge in the apex court.
The apex court, however, had refused to direct the Centre to recommend a Presidential reference for removal of Balakrishnan as the NHRC chief.
17.11.2015- Govt gives clean chit to former Chief Justice of India in ‘Benami’ case but Supreme Court differs