News Karnataka
Tuesday, February 07 2023

NHRC operating sans a permanent chairman since 2012

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Bengaluru: Believe it or not, there has been no permanent chairman for the National Human Resource Commission (NHRC) since past 5 years and 5 months. Now, with the retirement of temporary chairman Meera Saxena, the NHRC chairman’s post is literally vacant, with more than 5,000 cases still pending to be solved.

Basically from Karnataka, Chattisgarh High Court former chief justice S R Nayak was the first chairman of NHRC since 25 June 2007. He completed his five-year tenure in 2012. Since then no permanent chairman was appointed to the post. One of the members of NHRC, IAS officer Meera C Saxena was appointed as temporary chairman after two years and she continued in this post till her retirement on November 20.

Along with Meera, her colleague C G Hunagunda too has retired further weakening the NHRC. However, the state government seems to be not bothered about the issue, inspite of continuous demand by the human rights activists. Four years ago, on 9 December 2013, even the High Court directed the government to take steps to appoint chairman for NHRC, but nothing happened

Who can be the chairman?
According to the Human Rights Protection Act, former chief justice of the High Court and retired chief justice of the Supreme Court can be appointed as NHRC chairman. There was a proposal by the government to amend the Act so that retired judges of state High Court could be appointed to the chairman’s post but it was neglected.

Now, including Supreme Court former CJ Gopala Gowda, Karnataka HC former CJ D H Vaghela, Bombay HC former CJ Manjula Chellur and few names are being considered for the post.

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