Apex court seeks report on plaint against Balakrishnan (Lead)

February 18th, 2011 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday sought a status report on action the home ministry has taken on a complaint alleging that former chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan and his family members possessed assets disproportionate to their income.The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatantra Kumar gave Attorney General G. Vahanvati 14 days to file the status report on the complaint against Balakrishnan, who is chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The court said that a complaint was filed before President Pratibha Patil, who in turn forwarded it to the home ministry for action.

The court told the attorney general that it wanted to know the status of action the home ministry has taken on the complaint which alleged that Balakrishnan and his relatives possessed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.

Complainant M. Furquan wrote to the president May 4, 2010, seeking investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the assets accumulated by Balakrishnan and his family members since he assumed the office of the chief justice of India.

Farquan said that Balakrishnan allegedly misused his position as the then head of the country’s judiciary to favour certain people and commercial organisations at the instance of his sons, sons-in-law and daughters.

The complaint said that Balakrishnan fast-tracked a case involveng Canadian firm SNC Lovlin and former Kerala power minister Pinarayi Vijayan relating to renovation and modernisation of three hydel projects in the state in late 1990s.

Furquan alleged the case was fast-tracked because of the pressure and influence exerted on the then chief justice of India by his own family members, who were friendly with Vijayan, and from whom they gained considerable monetary benefits.

Describing as an “unholy alliance” the coming together of Balakrishnan’s family members to take advantage of his becoming the chief justice of India, the complaint alleged wrongdoings by his sons-in-law P.V. Sreenijan and M.J. Benny and daughters Sony and Rani along with advocate Shanthalingam of the Kerala High Court.

Furquan alleged that the former CJI’s brother K.G. Bhaskaran exercised influence in a bid to elevate then Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran as a judge of the apex court.

However, Justice Dinakaran’s elevation to the Supreme Court was aborted after controversies, including allegations of encroachment, surfaced involving him.

Seeking a CBI probe into the conduct of Balakrishnan, the complainant said he opposed the former CJI’s appointment as chairman of the NHRC.

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