SC raps Rajasthan over headless state rights panel

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday slammed the Rajasthan government for not appointing chairman of the state Human Rights Commission, a position lying vacant for the last five years since 2010.

The apex court described it as a “very sad state of affairs” and “totally unacceptable”.

“We are distressed that the state Human Rights Commission has been without the services of the Chairman since 2010 – that is almost five years,” said the apex court social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit.

“We are distressed to note the state Human Rights Commission has been without the services of the chairperson since 16.7.2010 – that is almost five years. (It is) totally unacceptable and subverts the provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993,” the court said in its order.

Having chided the Rajasthan government for not appointing the chairman of the Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission, the court also took exception to the absence of human rights courts in the state both at the state level and the district level.

“What do you mean by the right person? All the Chief Justices of the High Court are right persons,” Justice Lokur said as senior counsel Mahavir Singh, appearing for the Rajasthan government, told the court that it could not spot a “right person” to be appointed as the chairman, Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission.

The court also noted the “tremendous staff shortage” at the commission, saying that commission members cannot work because they do not get staff.

“They (commission members) don’t get staff. They can’t work,” the court said, giving Rajastan three weeks to tell the court the time-frame in which all the deficiencies as pointed out would be “remedied”.

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