Skip to main content

Cancel BJP politician's appointment to NHRC, you have powers to do it: PUCL writes to President of India

Prabhakar Sinha
By Our Representative
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India’s premier human rights organization, has asked President Pranab Mukherjee to cancel the proposed appointment of Avinash Rai Khanna, a BJP vice-president, as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), insisting, he “not ineligible” for the post, telling him, NHRC's function is to protect and promote human rights. 
The PUCL representation, signed by its national president Prabhakar Sinha, adds, the NHRC job can be performed “only by persons who are non-partisan and above temptation of future personal promotion and prospect.”
Recalling that Khanna was earlier appointed as a member of the State Human Rights Commission, Punjab, but resigned to become a member of the Rajya Sabha, Sinha says, “A member of a political party is expected to promote the interest of his party and is not trained to act with impartiality and judiciousness required of a member of the NHRC.”
Alleging that, as NHRC member, Khanna cannot “enjoy the trust of the people whose rights he would be expected to promote and protect against the governments of his own party”, Sinha says, an NHRC member’s “stature and qualifications has to be compared with the other members, who consist of judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court” under Section 4 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
He adds, the Act was enacted pursuant to the commitment of India towards binding several international covenants, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, against the backdrop of “changing social realities, emerging trends in the nature of violence”, which required “greater accountability and transparency.”
Founded, among others, by Jay Prakash Narain, PUCL says, the appointments to the NHRC, including that of the chairperson and other members, by the President after obtaining the recommendations of a Committee consisting of the Prime Minister as chairman, the Lok Sabha speaker, the Union home minister, and the Opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
“These recommendations are not binding on the President as are the recommendations of the Council of Ministers under Article 74 of the Constitution”, the letter underlines, adding, “The President is therefore free to not accept a recommendation of the committee in the interest of the people who are the real stakeholders.”
Pointing out that this is also clear from Section 4 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, PUCL says, Khanna’s appointment would send “wrong signals to the international community and to the United Nations where the national representatives have to periodically submit the status of implementation of human rights in the country.”
The PUCL, which had said in a statement that it would approach the Supreme Court against the decision to appoint Khanna, points to the President that it has won major victories in legal battles in the Supreme Court on telephone tapping case (1997), fake encounter in Manipur (1997), disclosure of criminal background and assets by candidates contesting for Parliament and the State Legislature (2003), and challenge to POTA (2004), while one case, on implementing right to food, is still pending before the apex court.

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

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.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.