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Forum expresses shock over NHRC appointments

The All India Network of NGOs and Individuals working with the National and State Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI) expressed shock and raised concerns over the procedure adopted for the recent appointments in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

National working secretary of AiNNI Henri Tiphagne said that the appointment committee had completely disregarded the recommendations of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), NHRC’s own submissions before the SCA in 2017, amendments to the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA) in 2019 and the appeals made by civil society.

The SCA in 2011, 2016 and 2017 had expressed serious concerns over lack of pluralism in the NHRC. The SCA said that there was inadequate representation of women, caste, tribe and religious communities in NHRC’s leadership, he said.

It had highlighted the need for a transparent appointment process. Still, a transparent process was not followed in the recent appointments, he said.

Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Arun Kumar Mishra will be the Chairperson of NHRC. Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Mahesh Mittal Kumar and former Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain were recommended as members of the NHRC by a high-powered panel.

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