New Delhi: A bill to reduce the tenure of the NHRC chairperson from five years to three and to appoint any retired judge of the Supreme Court, instead of the Chief Justice of India, as chairman of the statutory body was introduced in Parliament today.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2018 also provides for mandatory appointment of a woman member to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and making the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as its deemed member.
The Bill, introduced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Lok Sabha, provides that the tenure of the NHRC chairperson will be three years, instead of five at present, and the person will be eligible for re-appointment at the end of his or her term.
It says that any retired judge of the Supreme Court, instead of only the Chief Justice of India, will be eligible for the appointment as chairperson.
The salient features of the proposed amendment bill include making the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights a deemed member of the NHRC, adding a woman member to the commission, enlarging the scope of eligibility and selection of chairperson, NHRC, and State Human Rights Commissions (SHRCs).
It also proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in Union territories, to amend the term of office of chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRCs to make them in consonance with the terms of chairperson and members of other commissions.
The amendment to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 will make the NHRC and state human rights commissions more compliant with the Paris Principle concerning its autonomy, independence, pluralism and wide-ranging functions in order to effectively protect and promote human rights, a statement said.
The proposed amendment is aimed at strengthen human rights institutions for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities.
Moreover, the amended Act is expected to be in perfect sync with the agreed global standards and benchmarks towards ensuring the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual in the country.