Activists demand cancellation of Justice Arun Kumar Mishra’s appointment as NHRC head | India News


CHENNAI: Human rights organisations, activists and politicians demanded that the Centre cancel the appointment of former Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Kumar Mishra as the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). They termed the appointment as a “brazen and deliberate blow” to the Constitution by the Union government.
“The decision made by the Narendra Modi-led government smacks of brazen arrogance and indifference to public opinion and once against highlights the cynical disdain of the government for democratic norms and constitutional proprieties,” according to a joint statement signed by 68 human rights activists, lawyers, writers and journalists across the country. The activists who issued the statement include retired IAS officer M G Devasahayam, People’s Union for Civil Liberties general secretary Dr V Suresh and Henri Tiphagne of People’s Watch.
The appointment of Justice Mishra was made despite leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised an objection. Kharge suggested appointing someone representing the oppressed community.
However, the Modi government had shown open contempt for the NHRC’s mandate which stipulates first preference to a former chief justice (CJI), they said. Though there were three former CJIs, the Centre had opted for Arun Mishra, who “unabashedly described the PM in glowing terms in his presence”.
Listing out cases such as the Loya case, Sahara-Birla corruption case and Haren Pandya case, the petitioners stated that Justice Arun Mishra had either taken side with the central government or acted in a manner to help some of the top leaders of the government. He had scant respect for the plight, they said.
Hence, his appoint would go against the spirit of NHRC, which was created as an independent body to inquire into complaints of abuse and violations of human rights by the state and its agencies.

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