Did Hamid Ansari Scuttle the Chance of KG Balakrishnan for the Top Post?

Abhishek Upadhyay for BeyondHeadlines

After the nominations papers are cleared, there are only two candidates left in the fray of presidential poll, Pranab Mukherjee and Purno Sagama. But there exists an interesting story of two very potential presidential hopefuls who couldn’t make it finally but fought with each other instead, on the midway.

This is an open secret that KG Balakrishnan, chairman, National Human Right Commission and Ex Chief Justice of Supreme Court was a Potential Presidential choice of political parties, based on Dalit vote bank.  In the same vein, Hamid Ansari, the Vice President was also a strong contender and finally his name came out in to open when Mamta announced it after meeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at his residence at 10 Janpath.  KG Balakrishnan’s chances were actually foiled following a number of allegations against him and his family related with disproportionate income and misuse of office.

These allegations were the part of the complaint filed by National Lawyers Campaign for Transparency and Reforms, an association of lawyers, with head office at Wadala (E), Mumbai. Interestingly, this association shot off a letter to Mr. Hamid Ansari, vice president on 5th January, 2011, giving details of allegations against Mr. Balakrishnan.  As per sources, Mr. Balakrishnan is deeply peeved at the very fact that Mr. Hamid Ansari not only pushed these complaints in the notice of investigative agencies but tried hard to entrap him.

On 10 January, 2011, Vice President Office received the complaint of Lawyers Campaign for Transparency and Reforms. Vice President Office took keen interest in the complaint and ensured its further follow-up.  In this complaint, Mr. Mathews J. Nedumpara of the association claimed of imparting some very personal details regarding Mr. Balakrishnan. He claimed of his association with Mr. Balakrishnan right from 1984 and gave example of a case related to appellate tribunal for foreign exchange, director general of foreign trade in which he appeared and later took up the issue with Justice Balakrishnan. He wrote in the letter addressed to Vice president, “Response of Justice Balakrishnan in that very issue had shown the first seed of suspicion about him.

He added, “It is said, Jusitce Balakrishnan has a house in London, properties in Dubai and even in Nigeria. Today he is being compared with former ministers A. Raja, Jayalalitha etc. There is a purpose behind my drawing your attention to the gravity of judicial corruption as a background of this letter” and finally went on to demand, “Register an FIR against Sri KG Balakrishnan and his partners in crime, treat them like any other criminal and investigate the allegations of their selling justice which to my mind is the most terrible of all crimes, prosecute and punish them in accordance with law.”

Justice Balakrishnan in his close circle has always lamented for this very role of Hamid Ansari, which he thinks, was just a ploy to scuttle the chance of a serious contender for the top ceremonial position of the democracy. Justice Balakrishnan was the first judge form the state of Kerala to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was also the first from Dalit community to ascend to the post of Chief Justice of SC. His tenure lasted more than three years, which was one of the longest tenure enjoyed by a Chief Justice of the apex court. On 7th June, 2010, He took over as the chairperson of the National Human Right Commission. His track record was otherwise very impressive but for the series of allegations he faced as he stepped out the apex court. He has yet to publically speak up his mind and whenever he chooses to do so, this very interesting tale of Pre-Presidential contest between the two aspirants, will come to fore with some startling facts and details.

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