The apex court, however, asked the competent authority of the Centre to look into the allegation of judicial misconduct against the former Chief Justice of India (CJI). A bench of justices BS Chauhan and JS Khehar said if there is any truth in the allegations, then it is for the President to make reference to the Supreme Court, on the advice of Council of Ministers, for inquiry against the former CJI.
The court passed the order on a PIL by civil society Common Cause, which had sought directions from the court to the government to make a Presidential reference to the apex court for removal of former CJI Balakrishnan as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The NGO had alleged that the ex-CJI and his relatives amassed wealth far exceeding their legal income during Balakrishnan's tenure as an apex court judge. Justice Balakrishnan had been elevated as a Supreme Court judge in June 2000 and was appointed the Chief Justice of India on January 14, 2007. He retired on May 12, 2010 after which he was appointed NHRC chairman.
The NGO had also sought directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for making a reference to the apex court under the Human Rights Act to look into the allegations of "misbehaviour" against Justice Balakrishnan. The court had reserved its verdict on the NGO's plea on May 7.