Kerala govt orders vigilance probe against ex-CJI''s son-in-law

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 13 (PTI) Kerala''s LDFGovernment today ordered a vigilance probe against ex-CJI K GBalakrishnan''s son-in-law P V Sreenijan on charges of amassingwealth in a further embarrassment for the country''s former topjudge.

The order for the vigilance probe came a day after alocal court directed police to investigate the charges ofamassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources ofincome against three family members of Balakrishnan--twosons-in-law and his brother. The three men are already facingan Income Tax probe.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan issued the orderbased on a report given by Vigilance and Anti-CorruptionBureau(VACB) Director favouring a vigilance probe, officialsources said.

The sources said the VACB Director in his report hadstated that vigilance probe could be ordered againstSreenijan, a former Youth Congress functionary, under thePrevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

The VACB legal advisor had earlier expressed doubts overholding a vigilance probe under the PCA as Sreenijan would notcome under the definition of a public servant, but theVigilance Director took the stand that the government had theauthority to order any type of inquiry.

Chief Minister V S Achtuthanandan had last weekrecommended an inquiry against Sreenijan based on a privatepetition received by him.

A former vice-president of state Youth Congress,Sreenijan, who had unsuccessfully contested the last assemblypolls, resigned from the primary membership of theorganisation last week after coming under a cloud over thedisproportionate assets charges.

The Judicial Magistrate Court in Thiruvananthapuram hadyesterday asked the Kochi Police Commissioner to probe similarallegations against Sreenijan and Balakrishnan''s anotherson-in-law M J Benny and brother K G Bhaskaran.

Balakrishnan''s three family members also came under theIncome Tax department scanner with the agency launching apreliminary inquiry into the charges against them.

A vigilance court in Thrissur has also admitted apetition filed by an NGO seeking an investigation into thecharges.

Balakrishnan, who is the Chairperson of National HumanRights Commission, is named as the first respondent in thecase which will come up for further hearing on January 18.

In the wake of the allegations, Bhaskaran had quit asgovernment pleader in the high court citing health reasons.


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