Stepping up pressure for a probe into graft allegations against former chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, retired Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer Monday said a former high court judge approached him recently to persuade him not to raise the matter with the prime minister.
‘He (the judge) requested me that I should not complain to the prime minister against Balakrishnan. I will not name the judge who visited me,’ Iyer told a TV channel here.
Iyer surprised many when he held a press conference Dec 27 and demanded an investigation into how Balakrishnan’s son-in-law P.V. Srinijin, a Congress leader and a lawyer by profession, had acquired huge wealth in the past three years.
Since then, reports of large scale amassing of wealth by Balakrishnan’s kith and kin have appeared in the media.
Acting on a complaint, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has asked the vigilance department to initiate a probe against Srinijin.
Lawyers at the Kerala High Court also said Srinijin did not have a full fledged practice.
Balakrishnan is currently the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and has come under fire from several quarters, including senior apex court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who asked for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe Monday.
State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) C.K. Chandrappan Monday said the allegations, if proved true, were a shame for the judiciary.
Senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran demanded that retired judges too should come under the purview of the proposed judicial accountability bill.
V.R. Krishna Iyer was the law and irrigation minister in the world’s first elected Communist government in 1957 led by E.M.S. Namboodiripad in Kerala.
He was appointed a judge of the Kerala High Court in 1968 and elevated to the Supreme Court in 1973.
He was a member of the apex court bench which passed a landmark ruling directing the government to provide free legal services to the accused in custody.
He retired from the apex court in November 1980.