ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Taking Human Rights Seriously

The appointment of the new NHRC chairperson raises several questions.


Should Justice (retd) Arun K Mishra have been appointed as the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)? This question has been raised in the context of three broad and valid objections taken by a wide range of people to his appointment. His alleged proximity to the union government; his judicial record that has not been favourable to marginalised communities; and the presence of multiple candidates, eminently more suitable to the position than him stand against his appointment as a chair to the commission.

Mishra’s closeness to the ruling party is no secret. Going against the ethical conduct required of a judge of the Supreme Court of India, he has reportedly praised the Prime Minister in obsequious terms. The fact that almost every major case the ­union government was concerned in was placed before a bench headed by him, led to an unprecedented revolt by fellow judges of the Supreme Court in January 2018. In every one of these cases, it is quite surprising to note that the verdict given by the bench led by Mishra has gone in favour of the union gov­ernment. Some of these cases were very crucial for protecting the interest of the government rather than the larger interests that are of national importance or the ethical integrity of the judicial system.

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Updated On : 19th Jun, 2021
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