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Key Takeaways

  • Former Apex Court Judge, Justice Arun Mishra after 9 months of retirement, took over as the National Human Rights Commission Chairman on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021.
  • This makes Justice Arun Mishra the first non-CJI to take charge of NHRC since the amendment to the Protection of Human Rights Act in 2019 and the 8th chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.
  • The post was vacant since former CJI Justice H. L. Dutta completed his tenure in December 2020.
  • Two other persons were recommended for by the high-powered panel as members of NHRC – former Chief Justice of J&K High Court Mahesh Mittal Kumar and former Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain.

About Justice Mishra

  • Justice Mishra began his career as a lawyer in 1978 and was the youngest chairperson of the Bar Council of India in 1998-99.
  • He served as a Judge in Madhya Pradesh High Court in October 1999.
  • He went to serve as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court and Calcutta High Court.
  • He became a Supreme Court Judge on 7th July 2014.
  • He received a great deal of criticism after he loaded praise on the Prime Minister at the International Judicial Conference 2020.

Criticism on Justice Mishra’s Appointment as the Chairperson

  • Appointment of Justice Mishra as the chairperson of NHRC drew a sharp reaction from the Senior Congress leader and Opposition in Rajya Sabha MallikarjunKharge.
  • Kharge sought the appointment of a person belonging to the SC or the ST community in view of the atrocities faced by these communities.
  • Khargestated that since the committee did not accept any of his proposals, he disagrees with the recommendation of the committee.
  • Kharge stated that the appointment of chairman or member cannot be ignored simply under the pretext that there is no specific provision to appoint an SC or ST as NHRC for same.However, the Government held that NHRC already had members who were from Schedule Castes as ex-officio members.

About National Human Rights Commission

  • The National Human Rights Commission of India was formed in the year 1993 on 12th October.
  • It headquarters are situated at Sardar Patel Bhavan, New Delhi.
  • The primary function of the NHRC is to protect human rights and look into matters where there is violation of human rights and undertaking measures that are necessary for the promotion of Human Rights.
  • The NHRC consists of One Chairman and 5 members. The Chairperson should have been the CJI or a Judge of Supreme Court. One of the 5 members should have been a Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court, three members must be those having practical experience and knowledge in the field of Human Rights, and the chairpersons of National Commissions serve as the ex-officio members.

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