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Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed in Parliament

The Parliament has passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Jul 23, 2019 13:06 IST
Parliament passes Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019: Parliament passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 after the Rajya Sabha approved it unanimously on July 22, 2019. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier on July 19 through a voice vote.

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 aims to accelerate the process of appointment of chairperson and members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The bill proposes to amend the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which was enacted for the constitution of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Human Rights Courts for protection of human rights.

NHR/  SHRC Chairperson

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 amends the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 to include the provision that besides CJI, even a Judge of the Supreme Court can be the chairperson of the NHRC. As per the Human Rights Act, only a person who has been the Chief Justice of India can be made the NHRC chairperson.

Similarly, at the state level, the bill proposes an amendment to enable any person who has been a judge of a High Court to be the chairperson of SHRC.

NHRC members

The Human Rights Act 1993 provides that two persons having knowledge of human rights can be appointed as members of the NHRC. The bill also proposes an amendment to extend the appointment to three members, of which at least one should be a woman.

NHRC/ SHRC Term

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 proposes a reduction of the term of office of chairpersons and members of NHRC and SHRC to three years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.

The Human Rights Act 1993 states that the chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC will hold office for five years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

The Bill also allows reappointment of chairpersons of the NHRC and SHRCs.