KGB’s ‘U’ turn to protect his own Human Right to loot !!

published on April 19, 2011

I-T Dept refuses to divulge KGB income details

VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The Income Tax Department has refused to divulge the full details of income tax returns filed by former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan on the basis of the objections he aired and non-establishment of the public interest behind the demand for revelation under provisions of the RTI Act.

Justice Balakrishnan had earlier this month expressed readiness to reveal his income tax details but he reversed this stand on the ground that this could lead to misuse and tampering of personal information like PAN and back account number, especially in the context of escalating cyber crimes.

In a counter-affidavit submitted through his lawyer to the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Kochi, the former CJI said copies of income tax returns could not be divulged under the RTI Act as they were of purely personal nature which need not be divulged as per Section 8 (J) of the Act.

The counter-affidavit was filed in response to a query from the department based on a request for the details by RTI activist T Balachandran of Kochi. He had asked for copies of the income tax returns filed by the former CJI between financial years 2005-06 and 2009-2010 in the context of allegations of illegal amassment of wealth against him and his close relatives.

When Balachandran approached the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Kochi on Monday to collect the details of Justice Balakrishnan’s income tax returns, he was told that these could not be divulged as the he had objected to it and also because the applicant had failed to establish the “larger pubic interest” in the matter that made revelation vital.

The department told Balachandran that he could approach higher authorities if he still wanted to get the details. The RTI activist said, “That is exactly what we are going to do now. Justice Balakrishnan has to reveal those details. If a person like him refuses to reveal such details any other wrong-doer can do that on the same grounds.”

Stating that he had published details of his assets and income in the Supreme Court website and also through an earlier affidavit to the I-T Department, Justice Balakrishnan’s counter-affidavit said, “as regards to the disclosure of contents of I-T returns, it is squarely covered by Section 8(J) of the RTI Act 2005 against the applicant (Balachandran).”

The RTI activist had filed the application after reports appeared in the Press that Justice Balakrishnan, his sons-in-law PV Sreenijin, a former Kerala Youth Congress vice-president, and lawyer MJ Benny, brother KG Bhaskaran and other relatives had amassed wealth disproportionate to their means between 2005 and 2010.

In the affidavit he filed earlier this month, Justice Balakrishnan had said that he owned assets in six places, of which five were in Kerala and one in Faridabad, Haryana. Justice Balakrishnan claimed that he did not own any shares in any company or have any bank account other than a salary savings account.

After allegations of illegal amassment of wealth came up against Justice Balakrishnan and his relatives, several bar associations in Kerala had demanded a proper investigation and his removal as chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights. His brother Bhaskaran resigned as Special Government Pleader in the Kerala High Court following the allegations.

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