Why delay in NHRC appointments: SC to Centre

The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over inordinate delay in filling up vacant positions in the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) including that of the director general of investigation and a member while directing the Centre to enumerate reasons for the delay.

While terming the status report filed by the government as "wholly unsatisfactory", Chief Justice T S Thakur directed Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand to expedite the process of appointments. "You (the Centre) must make these appointments as soon as possible. How long do you want to drag on? Right from March 2014, there has been vacancy in the commission. What committee is looking into it," the bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, said while hearing a PIL seeking filling up of vacant positions in NHRC.

At the outset, the ASG filed a status report which said that the chairperson of NHRC has already been appointed, while two other posts are still lying vacant.

She told the bench that the appointment to the post of member, NHRC is to be made after obtaining the recommendations of a committee, appointed for the purpose, and the authority concerned has been requested to take "appropriate" action for making appointment to the post.

"The petitioner who appears in person points out that the vacancy of member, NHRC had occurred as early as on March 3, 2014 while the post of director general (investigation) fell vacant on October 31, 2014. The status report does not, however, explain the reasons for delay in filling up of both the vacancies for the past over two years.
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