Selection of SHRC chief postponed

Naidu does not turn up at the meeting

A committee headed by Chief Minister K. Rosaiah waited in vain for Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu to participate in a meeting to select the new chairman of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). As Mr. Naidu did not turn up, the committee postponed its decision.

The Chief Minister and all remaining members -- Assembly Speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Legislative Council chairman A. Chakrapani, Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy and Leader of Opposition in the Council Dadi Veerabhadra Rao – were present at the meeting.

They were supposed to select the successor to Justice B. Subhashan Reddy whose term will end on August 11.

In the absence of Mr. Naidu, apparently annoyed at the government for not informing him in advance about its choice for the chairman's post, the committee's task was limited to selecting the judicial member of SHRC. It selected M. Ramarao, a judicial officer from Telangana, for the post. The SHRC was constituted on August 12, 2005, with Justice Subhashan Reddy, a retired Chief Justice of Tamil Nadu and Kerala High Courts, as its first Chairman. Only legal luminaries who have served as Chief Justices are eligible for the post.

Later speaking to media persons, Mr. Veerabhadra Rao said that though Mr. Naidu sought the names of applicants for the Chairman's post, the government did not respond.

When this was raised in the meeting, Mr. Rosaiah explained that they were getting applications even prior to the meeting on Thursday and hence he could not forward the list in advance.

Mr. Rosaiah suggested that they would take up Chairman's appointment only in the presence of Mr. Naidu. However, there was no difference over the choice of Mr. Ramarao for the post of judicial member. Though TDP suggested the name of retired judge Ashok Kumar, Mr. Rosaiah said he was being considered for the post of Director, Vigilance Commission. Meanwhile, Justice Subhashan Reddy will in all likelihood continue as chairman since the government has reportedly sought his consent.

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