Parliament on Monday passed a Bill to expedite the process of appointment of chairperson and members of NHRC and states rights bodies, with Home Minister Amit Shah allaying fears of the opposition that the government may influence the appointment to the panels.
Intervening in the debate in Rajya Sabha, Shah said that the age limit for appointment to the panel has been reduced to fill the vacancies.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Friday, provides for reduction in tenure of chairpersons of national and state human rights bodies to three years from the current five years.
It also stipulates that besides a former chief justice of India, as is the current requirement, a former Supreme Court judge can also become NHRC chairperson.
“There have been apprehension that it will be government’s committee … Or members could be re-appointed after three years,” Shah said and pointed out that there was panel for appointment. If appointments are viewed with suspicion than any democratic body cannot function, he said.
Earlier, in his reply, Minister of State (Home Affairs) Nityanand Rai said changes in the legislation will help in protecting human rights effectively. The Bill was later passed by voice vote in Rajya Sabha, completing the parliamentary process.