Centre told to furnish IT details of ex-CJI’s kin
A Bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to file the assement orders of IT returns, after he submitted that all kin of Justice Balakrishnan are not party to the case and they are 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 a CBI probe into the alleged amassing of wealth by the kith and kin of Justice Balakrishnan during his tenure as CJI and NHRC chairperson. Rohatgi said 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 the removal of Justice Balakrishnan as NHRC chairperson has become infructuous as he has already demitted the office.
The Bench has posted the matter for further hearing on July 12.
On September 15 last year, the Apex Court had sought Rohatgi’s assistance 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 IT 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 petition has claimed.