Lok Sabha Passes Bill To Amend Human Rights Law

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By Moderator July 20, 2019 13:54

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The Lok Sabha on Friday passed a bill which seeks to expedite the process of appointment of the chairperson and members of the National Human Rights law.

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  • The amendment provides for a reduction in the tenure of chairpersons of national and state human rights law to three years from the current five years.
  • It also stipulates that besides a former chief justice of India, a former SC judge can also become NHRC chairperson.
  • Similarly, a former high court judge can also become a state human rights commission chairperson besides a high court chief, according to the bill.
  • The new bill provides for including the chairpersons of the National Commission for Backward Classes, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
    • Under the existing Act, chairpersons of commissions such as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and National Commission for Women are members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
    • It is said that the participation of civil society representatives will provide more strength to protect human rights
  • While the existing Act provides for two persons having knowledge of human rights law to be appointed as members of the NHRC, the Bill provides for three members to be appointed, of which at least one must be a woman.
  • Bill gives more administrative and financial powers to human rights law.
  • Recently, NHRC has been given an A-rating by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.

Issues

  • Several Opposition parties objected to the Bill in its present form, saying it has many gaps and was not in conformity with the Paris Principles
    • Paris Principles are a set of international standards which frame and guide the work of human rights institutions.
  • Many experts observe that new bill fails to address the issue of autonomy of the commission.

Also read: Article 15, Mandal Commission And Indra Sawhney Case

Expanding Scope of Right to Life and Liberty Under Article 21

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Moderator
By Moderator July 20, 2019 13:54