The appointment of Justice (Retd) Arun Kumar Mishra as the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has triggered a controversy with the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, raising questions over the appointment process in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “In my letter to PM @narendramodi, I raised concerns regarding the manner in which the NHRC appointments were made. The @BJP4India Govt refused to consider any SCs, STs, OBCs or minorities. Further, the appointments smack of partisanship & quid pro quo. I strongly condemn this,” said Kharge while sharing the letter on Twitter.
In the letter dated May 31, Karge expressed his disappointment over the decision. “….my concern over the rise in the cases of atrocities on Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities and proposed that at least one person belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities be recommended for the appointment either to the post of Chairperson under Section 3(2)(a) or a member under section 3(2)(c) or a member under Section 3(2)(d) to the National Human Rights Commission from amongst the existing list of candidates,” he said.
Kharge said that there cannot be any bar to appoint either Chairperson or member to the NHRC on certain grounds. “I also pointed out that appointment of the Chairperson or member to the NHRC cannot simply be ignored on the pretext that there is no specific provision to this effect in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and amendments made thereto Obviously, there cannot be any bar to appoint either Chairperson or member to the NHRC on this ground,” Kharge wrote to Modi.
Kharge had proposed that the names of some candidates from among the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities to be considered either for the post of Chairperson or member of the NHRC.
“Since the Committee did not accept any of my proposals, I express my disagreement with the recommendations made by the Committee in regards to appointments to the posts of Chairperson and Members of NHRC,” said Kharge.
President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday appointed Justice (Retd) Arun Kumar Mishra as the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Justice Mishra’s name was recommended by the powerful selection committee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Harivansh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge. Of these, Kharge has dissociated himself from the process after the panel recommended Justice Mishra to be appointed as the NHRC chairperson.