HC directs appointment of state rights commission’s chairperson, members

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IMPHAL | Jan 13

High Court of Manipur has directed the state government to appoint chairperson and members of Manipur State Human Rights Commission within three months from the date of passing the order.

A double bench of the high court comprising acting Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Kh. Nobin Singh passed the order on January 4 on a public interest litigation filed by Th. Suresh, chairman of Dr. Suresh Centre for Foreign Studies and Placement in January 2014.

The high court also directed the state government to appoint other officers and staff commensurate with the responsibilities and status in a time bound manner as absence of adequate officers and staff to assist will not be in a position to function effectively and efficiently.

The high court also directed the state government to issue notification inviting applications for the post of two members of the commission for a longer period of time of at least one month.

Praying for direction to the state government to fill up the vacancies of members and other supporting staff within a specific time framme Suresh sought deputation of an officer not below the rank of a secretary to the state government and a police officer not below the rank of inspector general of police as provided by sections of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

In its order, the bench said after tracing the history of the enactment of the Protection of Human Rights Act, the Supreme Court made it abudantly clear that setting up of a State Human Rights Commission is a madatory requirement and is not dependent upon the discretion of the state government.

The bench also said the Supreme Court expressed great distress at the non-functioning of the State Human Rights Commissions because of non-appointment of the chairpersons and members and directed the states to intiate steps for filling the vacancies within three months.

The bench held hearings for 34 times and the judgement was reserved on September 7 last year, Suresh told a press conference at the Manipur Press Club today. The certified copy of the judgement was issued yesterday.

The state commission has not been functioning since 2010 as the state government failed to appoint the chairperson and members.

Reports said the state government has been searching for a candidate eligible for the post of chairperson.

Suresh said he would not rest till the chairperson and members are appointed.

IFP News

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