The Home Ministry has asked the Revenue Department to conduct a probe into the allegations of disproportionate assets against former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan. In a letter to the Revenue Secretary, the Home Ministry asked him to institute an inquiry through the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the investigative wing of the department.

The Home Ministry missive came after it received a petition alleging that Balakrishnan, currently chairperson of National Human Rights Commission, had acquired assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and some of these properties were purchased in the name of his close relatives.

“The petition with allegations has been sent to Secretary Revenue department for inquiry,” official sources said.

When contacted, Balakrishnan refused to comment, saying that he had already cleared the air about his assets.

The petition listed the income and properties of Balakrishnan and his relatives and also attached documents showing purchase of some of the properties and has demanded investigations by the CBDT.

“Since the CBDT has the expertise to probe into anyone’s income and disproportionate assets, the task has been given to it,” the sources said.

If the allegations against Balakrishnan are found to be true, the Home Ministry may move to President seeking sanction to prosecute him and also remove him from the post ofNHRC.

Balakrishnan had reportedly disclosed his assets and liabilities for 2009 and 2010, but did not provide information for 2007 and 2008.

A Kerala-based RTI activist had sought his I-T returns and assets from 2005 to 2009, which the I-T department had refused to provide following the former CJI’s objection.

Balakrishnan had conveyed to the Income Tax Department that he was not willing to disclose his assets as they were not related to any public interest.

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June 2021