Cabinet to amend Ex-SC judges could soon be appointed NHRC chiefs
The Home Ministry has moved the Cabinet to amend the
recruitment process of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
A key change being contemplated is that a retired Supreme
Court judge could also be considered for the Chairperson’s position, currently
reserved for former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court.
Similarly an amendment for appointment of members is also
The members could be picked from a pool of retired Chief
Justices of High Courts. Currently, a serving or retired SC judge is
The NHRC was constituted under the Protection of Human
Rights Act in 1993. The Act was last amended in 2006.
The amendments are being done on the request of the NHRC
Complying with international norms, some changes are being
made in the Act that will open the floor for recruitment from a wider pool.
The Commission consists of a chairperson, one member who is
or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court, one member who is or has been the
Chief Justice of a High Court and two members to be appointed from among
persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to
The chairperson and members are appointed by the President
on recommendations from a six-member committee chaired by the Prime Minister.
Once the Cabinet approves them, an amendment to the
Protection of Human Rights Act would have to be ratified by Parliament.
The State Human Rights Commissions are also expected to see
a change in the appointment procedure.
Retired High Court judges could also be considered for the
post of State Human Rights Commission chairperson, which is currently held by
retired Chief Justices of High Courts.