Friday, February 18, 2011

What is status of graft plaint against ex-CJI: SC

New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India K J Balakrishnan suffered a setback on Friday when the Supreme Court asked the government to detail the status of inquiry into a nine-month-old complaint accusing him and his kin of corruption.
The CBI’s anti-corruption branch in Kochi, which was tasked to inquire into the complaint, will now reveal the outcome of its probe to the court through attorney general G E Vahanvati within two weeks.
Justice Balakrishnan has been under a cloud following allegations of a spike in the assets of his family members during his stint in the country’s top court. He has so far shrugged aside demands, including from retired SC judge V R Krishna Iyer, that he disclose his assets. The former CJI also opposed a right to information plea on his tax returns. While the intervention by his former peers should test his resistance, the apex court’s bold curiosity about the status of investigation into assets can cause anxiety also to the powerful accused in the spectrum case. The court is monitoring investigation into the 2G spectrum case, and has stressed that CBI disregard the status of the accused.
Justice Balakrishnan refused to comment on the SC asking for the probe status report on Friday. Delhi-based Mohammad Furqan had levelled corruption charges against him in a complaint to the president and vice-president on May 4 last year. While requesting the president not to appoint him as head of the human rights body, Furqan had sought a thorough probe into the allegations against him and his relatives.
The V-P’s secretariat had on June 21, 2010, written to the home secretary and said the complaint was being forwarded to him for “appropriate action”. The ministry had sent the complaint to CBI, New Delhi. The CBI, New Delhi, by a communication dated August 10, 2010, had forwarded the complaint to its anti-corruption branch in Kochi, Kerala, the home state of Justice Balakrishnan.


Probe against ex-CJI K G Balakrishnan was ordered on corruption charges submitted to President
Petitioner alleged ex-CJI’s declared assets were “far below actual assets owned by him & family members” charges included an out-of-turn hearing of a CPM leader in Lavlin case & ex-CJI’s son visiting Dubai for another pending case Ex-CJI rejected charges, said kin were answerable to judicial machinery on charges of illegal wealth

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