Several human rights organisations have questioned the appointment of retired IAS official Meera Saksena as acting chairperson of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC).

Rajendra from People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka told presspersons on Wednesday it was the first time that the government has appointed a retired bureaucrat as acting chairperson of KSHRC. She has had no prior involvement in human rights-related work, he said.

Stipulations

The Human Rights Act, 1993, clearly states the KSHRC chairperson should have been a Chief Justice of a High Court and should consist of one member who is/has been a judge of a High Court, or a district judge in the State with a minimum of seven years’ experience and one member to be appointed amongst persons having knowledge of practical experience in matters relating to human rights. “This shows that the appointment of Ms. Saksena is not proper even as a member or as acting chairperson of KSHRC,” he said.

Nagari Babaiah from People’s Democratic Forum said the objective of the commission is to ensure social justice to the marginalised and weaker sections of society. “The appointments to these commissions are not mere filling of vacant posts, but proof of the government’s commitment to ensure justice, especially in cases of violations by the powerful against the weak and voiceless,” he said.

‘Reconstitute commission’

The human rights organisations have now demanded revoking of the appointment. They want the KSHRC to be reconstituted and new members appointed following due procedure laid down by the Human Rights Act, besides avoiding politics in the appointment of persons to such positions.