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BJP leader’s nomination to NHRC draws strong criticism (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II, Topic: Impartiality of NHRC)

PUCL condemned BJP leader nomination in NHRC
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has condemned the decision of the Centre to nominate Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna as member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

‘Conflict of interest’
PUCL believed that the decision would harm the impartiality of the NHRC, which had in the past taken up issues of human rights abuse by government functionaries suo motu or on the basis of complaints.Therefore, the appointment of a politician of the ruling party would compromise the independence, objectivity and credibility of the institution and, even more important, create a conflict of interest.

When the NHRC was constituted, it was made clear that apart from former judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts, two other members would be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.

‘Principle of neutrality’
BJP leader was associated with the party for decades and had no relevant experience in the field of human rights.The principle of neutrality of NHRC members was particularly crucial and important for, many times, the agency was called upon to investigate mass human rights abuses by the security forces with allegations of complicity of the political executive.

About National Human Rights Commission
The Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is an autonomous public body constituted in1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance. It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

 



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