Skip to main content

Sathasivam not independent, don't appoint him as India's human right watchdog: PUCL

Sathasivam
By Our Representative
The People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India's powerful human rights organization, has asked President Pranab Mukherjee not to give his consent for the appointment of Justice P Sathasivam, presently governor of Kerala and former chief justice of India, as next chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the autonomous civil rights watchdog of India.
"If such an appointment is made, it will be contrary to the law, democratic ethic and the spirit of the Indian Constitution and the protection of human rights", it has said in a letter to Mukherjee, telling him, in this case, the final decision vests with him as President of India, and not with the Cabinet whose advice is otherwise mandatory for him.
Signed by PUCL president Prof Prabhakar Sinha and general secreary Dr V Suresh, the PUCL said, "The most essential and indispensable qualification of chairperson of NHRC is the enjoyment of complete and unshakeable trust of the people in his ability to stand for their rights against the almost almighty executive", something  which Sathasivam lacks.
Suggesting that the governor's post is subservient to the executive, the PUCL said, "By accepting his appointment as governor after holding the post of chief justice, he has accepted a position in which he would be taking orders, including for his own resignation, from the Home Secretary of the Union Government."
"Justice P Sathasivam has accepted a position in which the incumbent is liable to be hired and fired by the executive", the PUCL said, adding, this goes against the principles guiding National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993, tho which India is a signatory. the princples require national human rights institutions (NHRIs) oo be “autonomous” and function “independently” of the government.
Pointing out that a key function of the NHRIs includes to “drawing the attention of the government to situations in any part of the country where human rights are violated and making proposals to it for initiatives to put an end to such situations", the PUCL wondered how would ordinary citizens have confidence in the "impartiality, fairness, objectivity and independence of a person who owes his current position as governor of a state to the pleasure of the ruling Central government?"
The PUCL insisted, "Following his retirement, Justice Sathasivam's act of accepting the office of the governor, with its terms and conditions being dishonourable for a former Chief Justice of India, has destroyed the confidence of the people that such a person may ever stand up to his erstwhile master to protect their human rights."
Telling him that he could indepently, it told him, he has to make the NHRC appointment "not on the advice of the Council of Ministers, binding under Article 74 of the Constitution, but on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha and the leaders of the opposition in both the Houses of Parliament."

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.