With the income tax department alleging former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan's kin possess black money, ex-CJI J S Verma on Sunday demanded that Balakrishnan should quit as National Human Rights Commission chief and if he does not, President Pratibha Patil should intervene to get him removed from the post.
"I think Balakrishnan should quit and if the allegations are not true according to him, the burden lies on him to prove them wrong and silence is no longer an option," Verma said reacting to the charge by the I-T department.
If he refuses to step down, Verma said, "Well, in that case, I think it's time the President should move in to take action. There is after all a provision for removal. So if he chooses to keep quiet and doesn't have himself cleared, well then, the removal proceedings should be commenced."
In further embarrassment to Balakrishnan, who is currently the chairperson of the NHRC, the income tax authorities in Kochi had alleged on Saturday that three of his relatives were found to possess black money during their investigation into allegations of amassment of disproportionate wealth by them.
"As far as Justice Balakrishnan is concerned, I cannot say anything. But as far as his relatives -- two sons-in-law and brother are concerned -- we have found there is black money," Director General of income tax (Investigation), Kochi, E T Lukose, had told reporters.
Justice Balakrishnan's sons-in-law P V Sreenijan and M J Benny, both advocates, and brother K G Bhaskaran, former special government pleader, have been found to be possessing black money, he had said.
Verma said, "Balakrishnan continues to be NHRC chairman. His words hold no credibility. See, it's like this. Corruption is the most egregious form of human rights violation. And a person accused of serious human rights violation heading the NHRC itself is a great travesty of justice."