new-nhrc-chief-is-appointed

Context:

  • Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant, a former Supreme Court judge, has been appointed the Acting Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
  • Post of Chairperson has been vacant since former Chief Justice of India H.L.Dattu completed his tenure.

Related facts:

  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) established in 1993.
  • It's an Independent Statutory body as per the  Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993 which was recently amended in 2019.
  • NHRC acts as a watchdog of human rights in the country.
  • NHRC looks over the rights that are related to life, dignity, liberty and equality of the individual that is defined in Section 2(1) of the PHR Act. 
  • NHRC is a multi member body, consisting of a Chairperson and eight other members. Among those 8 members Four are full time members and rest four are deemed members.
    • Chairman of NHRC : Retired Chief Justice of India (CJI)
    • Member 1 : One Who is/has been Supreme Court Judge.
    • Member 2 : One who is/has been a Chief Justice of a High Court.
    • Two members : Candidates with the knowledge or practical experience in the matters of Human Rights.
    • Deemed Members (Ex-officio Members) : Deemed members are chairpersons of the below:national commissions:
  1. National Commission for Minorities
  2. National Commission for Scheduled Castes
  3. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  4. National Commission for Women
  • Appointment of NHRC members is done by the President on the recommendations of the selection committee.
    • Selection Committee consists of:
      • Prime Minister (Chairman)
      • Speaker of Lok Sabha
      • Union Home Minister
      • Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
      • Leaders of the Opposition in both Houses of the Parliament
  • Flaws in the working of NHRC
    • It is just a recommendatory body, without power to enforce decisions.
    • NHRC does not have the power to penalise the authorities that don’t implement its recommendations.
    • NHRC jurisdictions do not cover human rights violations by the private parties.
    • NHRC is at the end dependent on the government for two most important resources i.e., Money and Human Resource. NHRC annual budget is not a charged expenditure on Consolidated funds of India and appointment is made by the committee consisting of members mostly from government in power.

Source: The Hindu