Justice Arun Mishra is set to take over as chairperson of India’s National Human Rights Commission. This clearance appears to have been granted by a five-member committee, with only the Leader of the Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge, opposing the selection.
Justice Mishra’s appointment would not only confirm the Sub-Committee on Accreditation’s concerns about ex-justices being appointed as Chair of the NHRC, but it would also jeopardise India’s accreditation renewal.
The appointment must serve as a reminder of what is wrong with the NHRC and why it needs to be revived.
It has been argued that the leadership of previous chairpersons was what gave the NHRC credibility in the past. If this is the case, there is an even greater need to reconsider the NHRC’s structure.
A body with such a significant mandate cannot be left to the benevolence of its chairperson, regardless of who it is.
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