Ravi Sharma

Bangalore: Karnataka is the only southern State, which does not have a State Human Rights Commission.

State Human Rights Commissions are already functioning in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

State's Law Secretary B.S. Reddy told The Hindu that the process of constituting a commission was on and that it could happen anytime between a week and 15 days. Karnataka two years ago issued a notification constituting a State Human Rights Commission, but ironically did not appoint any members.

Appointment

Said Mr. Reddy: "The file is at present with the Law Minister, and he will shortly appoint the chairman of the commission who is to be a retired Supreme Court Judge and its two members (a retired High Court or districts judge, and a person knowledgeable in human rights) in consultation with the Chief Minister."

NHRC Chairman Shivaraj V. Patil raised the issue hardly a fortnight ago with the State's Special Representative in New Delhi Mahima Patel. Mr. Patil announced on Wednesday that Bangalore would play host to a "national conference of non-governmental organisations" on April 28 and 29 and hoped it would "open the eyes of the State Government and make it more aware of human rights".

He said the NHRC was thinking of suggesting to the Union Government to amend the Human Rights Act, 1993 (under which the Commission was established) making it mandatory for States to constitute human rights commissions.

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