Amit Shah counters opposition charge that amendments will pack NHRC with ‘YES MEN’
The Protection of Human Rights Bill, 2019 was cleared by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha in the midst of analysis from the Opposition that the enactment will guarantee that only the administration’s nominees are delegated to the National Human Rights Commission. The Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Friday.
Reacting to the analysis, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at the conclusion of the discussion that such a fear was unwarranted. He said the chairperson is not appointed by Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Home Minister. There is a committee that includes Prime Minister and Opposition leaders of both the Houses. The House should trust the wisdom of such a committee.”
Choice of Chairperson
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 changes the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to incorporate the arrangement that separated from a previous CJI, a previous judge of the Supreme Court can be the Chairperson of the NHRC. Under the Act, just an individual who had been the CJI could be made the NHRC chairperson.
Congress MP Vivek Tankha, talking during the discussion, said numerous arrangements in the Bill gave discretionary powers to the administration to pick the NHRC chairperson.
“The Bill says that if a Chief Justice of India is not available for the post, then there is an option to appoint a Supreme Court judge. But there is no clarity that if there is an existing Chief Justice, will he be overlooked and a certain hand-picked judge be appointed chairman,” Mr. Tankha said.
RJD MP Manoj Jha reverberated the analysis saying the Bill prepared for the arrangement of “yes men” on the body.
The exchange on the Bill began in the midst of mayhem from the Opposition seats who had been dissenting since morning on the Sonabhadra killings and political emergency in Karnataka. The House was dismissed at 2.20 p.m. Later when the house met at 3 p.m., Trinamool Congress pioneer Sukendu Shekar Ray enrolled his dissent saying that the House did not get sufficient opportunity to study or move revisions.
Trinamool pioneer Derek O’Brien, while opening the discussion, had raised a similar point saying that the Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Friday and moved in Rajya Sabha at the beginning of today. None of the revisions moved by individuals were coursed. It is an infringement of the privileges of individuals he said. The gathering individuals left the House.
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