I have nothing to hide, says Balakrishnan

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) NHRC chairman and former ChiefJustice of India K G Balakrishnan today said he has nothing tohide after he asked the Income Tax department not to revealhis IT returns.

Balakrishnan said he wrote to authorities not todisclose his I-T returns because it has his PAN number andbank account number.

These details may be misused, he said, adding, nobodywould like to reveal personal details.

Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said governmenthad no role on the matter.

Moily however said that no one "should speak verylightly about persons who occupy highest position."

"This is not desirable. This will shake the confidenceof institutions consciously preserved by the constitution," hetold reporters in Bangalore.

A Kochi-based RTI activist T Balachandran had filed apetition in January under the Right to Information (RTI) actwith the Income Tax department at Kochi seeking information ontax returns of the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC)chief

But Income Tax authorities at Kochi had declined toreveal details of tax returns filed by Balakrishnan and hisfamily members after the former CJI objected to thedisclosures.

The NHRC chief said disclosing such information doesn�tserve any public interest, and instead amounts to an invasionof privacy.

Balakrishnan, who had earlier opposed the disclosure ofthe judges'' assets, sent a letter dated February 5 in thisregard stating that disclosure of information sought is exemptfrom disclosure as per Sec 8(i) of the RTI act, 2005.

"Information which relates to personal information,disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activityor interest or which would cause unwarranted invasion ofprivacy of the individual are completely exempt fromdisclosure unless the Central Public Information officer orstate Public Information Officer of the appellate authority,as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger publicinterest justified the disclosure of such information," he hadsaid.

The application was filed by Balachandran followingallegations of accumulation of wealth disproportionate toknown sources of income against the family members of JusticeBalakrishnan.

Another former CJI Justice J S Verma said thatBalakrishnan should clear his name.

"K G Balakrishnan should clear his name. I wish heceased to be in the news for all the wrong reasons which ishappening everyday," said Justice Verma..

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