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Venkatachalamoorthy, head of rights panel

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Special Correspondent

Three members, A.R. Selvakumar, K. Mariappan and S. Paramasivan, assume office Three members, A.R. Selvakumar, K. Mariappan and S. Paramasivan assume office

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government on Friday appointed a retired Chief Justice of the High Court head of the State Human Rights Commission. The posts of three Members, which were vacant, have also been filled.

While Justice A.S. Venkatachalamoorthy assumed office as Chairperson, A.R. Selvakumar, a retired district judge, and K. Mariappan and S.Paramasivan, retired Directors of School Education, took over as Members on Saturday.

With these appointments, all the vacancies have been filled.

Vacant for long

The post of Chairperson was lying vacant since the death of Justice S. Nainar Sundaram in September 2001.

Till the new appointment, Justice S. Thangaraj, a retired High Court judge, was the Acting Chairperson.

After the retirement of R. Ratnaswami, a Member, in 2000, S. Sambandham, a former Special Court judge, was posted in his place.

Later, Justice K. Swamidurai, M. Sushila Raj and Abdul Ghani retired as Members in 2002 on completion of their term. Mr. Sambandham retired in March this year.

Under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, a State Commission should consist of a Chairperson, who has been the Chief Justice of a High Court; one Member, who is, or has been a High Court judge; of a High Court; one Member who is, or has been, a district judge in that State; and two Members to be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.

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