New Delhi: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre for an inquiry into allegations of misbehaviour against former Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and to ensure his removal as NHRC chief.

The plea of NGO Common Cause has sought issuance of a direction 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 former Chief Justice Balakrishnan, who is at present Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

"Despite the fact that there is overwhelming evidence indicating that the Respondent No 3 (Balakrishnan) has been guilty of several acts of grave misbehaviour, the Government has not taken any step for his removal from the NHRC," the petition, filed through lawyer Prashant Bhushan, said.

A provision of the Human Rights Act says that the Chairperson or other member of NHRC "shall be removed from his office by the order of the President of India on the ground of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by the President, has on inquiry reported that the Chairperson or such member, on any such ground, be removed."

The petition referred to media reports and alleged that it has come to light recently that some close relatives of Justice Balakrishnan have acquired assets disproportionate to their known sources of income during his tenure as the CJI.

It also alleged that the Justice Balakrishnan suppressed "a letter written by a High Court judge alleging that former Union Minister A Raja tried to interfere his judicial function" and later he "lied" that he had not received any such letter implicating any minister.

The NGO, in the petition, has annexed media reports as documents to buttress its allegations that 'benami' properties were acquired by kith and kin of Balakrishnan during his tenure as CJI.

It alleged that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi misused his discretionary powers and allotted two prime plots of land in Chennai to a former aide of Balakrishnan.

(Agencies)