Friday, May 27, 2022
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At Stake, Your Honour

Will the clamour against former CJI Balakrishnan stem the rot in judiciary?

At Stake, Your Honour
At Stake, Your Honour Narendra Bisht

The Long List of Misdemeanours

  • Family members of Justice K.G. Balakrishnan grow rich by crores during his tenure as the Chief Justice of India from Jan 2007 to May 2010.
  • Elder son-in-law P.V. Sreenijan (pic), landless and worth Rs 25,000, amasses wealth estimated at more than Rs 10 crore in just two years. Younger son-in-law M.J. Benny buys property worth Rs 81.5 lakh in Kochi.
  • Brother K.G. Bhaskaran, forced to go on leave from his post as special government pleader, acquires a 56-acre farmhouse in TN.
  • Balakrishnan’s nephew Abhilash, once a clerk with Kerala State Financial Enterprises, opens multiple-crore Vyga Animation Systems Pvt Ltd and two other IT firms at Technopark. He allegedly runs benami jewellery shops and hotels in the country and abroad.
  • Former Independent MP Sebastian Paul alleges that Sreenijan and Bhaskaran struck deals for favourable verdicts and judicial postings with clients at a 5-star hotel in Kochi. Many knew about the clandestine deals but kept quiet for fear of contempt.
  • Justice Krishna Iyer says a former Kerala High Court judge had requested him not to write to the PM on Balakrishnan’s kin owning assets more than disclosed known sources of income. Iyer refused. But he also refused to name the judge who approached him.

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The list of honourable men in black robes who have failed to make it to the Supreme Court is long. Perhaps if they had, the apex court could have been spared the embarrassment of counting the black sheep among its flock. Reams have been written about corruption in the lower levels of judiciary and the high courts, questionable verdicts have been highlighted in the media and the denial of justice has been exposed. In the cynical times we live in, no one seems surprised anymore.

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