Income Tax returns: Moily defends former CJI Balakrishnan

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Bangalore, Feb 15 (ANI): Reacting on former Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan's reported refusal to make Income Tax returns public, Union Law and Justice Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the people, who have held such high positions should not be questioned.

"We should not question the people, who have held such high positions. If we question such people, faith in the system will be lost," Moily told reporters here.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson Balakrishnan reacting to the controversy over his unwillingness to disclose his Income Tax returns has said he has nothing to hide.

"I wrote to authorities not to disclose my I-T returns because it has my PAN number and bank account number. These details may be misused and that is the reason I wanted the authorities not to disclose my I-T returns, nobody would like to reveal personal details," said Balakrishnan.

T Balachandran had filed a query under the Right to Information (RTI) act with the Income Tax department at Kochi.

The application was filed by Balachandran following allegations of accumulation of wealth disproportionate to known sources of income against the family members of Justice Balakrishnan.

The applicant, an RTI activist, had sought information and documents, certified copies of IT returns submitted by Justice Balakrishnan for 2005-06 to 2009-10, details of investigation and inquiry by the department against him and his son, K B Pradeep, two daughters-Sony and Rani, sons-in law M J Benny and P V Sreenijan and brother K G Bhaskaran.

The income tax department is inquiring how assets of Balakrishnan's son-in-law PV Sreenijan allegedly multiplied from Rs. 25,000 to many crores during Balakrishnan's tenure as the Chief Justice of India.

Earlier on January 5, Sreenijan resigned from the youth Congress under immense pressure from the party following allegations that he had built assets disproportionate to his income as a lawyer.

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan recommended a vigilance probe against Sreenijan on January 3 following reports that he had amassed property worth crores of rupees in a short span of time.

Moreover, Balakrishnan's brother K G Bhaskaran, who resigned on January 8 as special government pleader in the Kerala High Court, is also under the scanner of the investigating agency for buying sixty acres of land in Dindigul in Tamil Nadu, allegedly undervaluing the price. (ANI)

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