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Plea to fill up posts in NHRC transparently

Madurai: The All India Network of NGOs and Individuals working with National and State Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI) has urged President Ram Nath Kovind to fill up vacancies in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) including its chairperson in a fair and transparent manner by adhering to the guidelines without showing any bias.

In a letter to the President on behalf of 89 organisations and 326 individual activists, Henri Tiphagne, the national working secretary of the network, stated that the post of the chairperson has been vacant for five months since the retirement of Justice (retired) H L Dattu in December 2020.

The lone judicial member is vacant since the retirement of Justice (retired) D Murugesan from September 2018 and that of one of the two non-judicial members has been vacant since it was created through an amendment in July 2019.

NHRC member Justice (retired) P C Pant was appointed as the acting chairperson of the body on April 25, 2021, as per Section 7 of the PHRA.

“Impact of these long vacancies has been pointed out by Justice Pant and it is clear that with a monthly workload of near 10,000 complaints these vacancies have severely impacted the responsiveness of the institution and its image in the general public eye. It also allows for violations to continue and impunity to reign,” Henri said.

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