Parliament Passes Human Rights Panel Amendment Bill 2019

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed by Lok Sabha last Friday was approved by Rajya Sabha on Monday by voice vote. The Bill amends provisions of The Protection of Human Rights Acts 1993 specifically dealing with appointments& tenures of Chairpersons & members of various human rights commissions functioning at national & state level. The 2019 Bill expands the National Human Rights Commission as well as State Human Rights Commission by way of addition of one member who has to be mandatory be woman. Earlier, NHRC & SHRCs had two members and now it will have three members. The Amendment Bill promotes gender inclusivity in Indian society. The Human Rights Amendment Bill 2019 expands the scope of eligibility criteria for appointment as Chairperson of NHRC & SHRCs. The 2019 Bill permits any former Chief Justice of  Supreme Court or Judge of Supreme Court to be appointed as Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission and  any former Chief Justice or Judge of High Court to be Chairperson of State Human Rights Commission  . The 2019 Bill reduces the tenure of Chairpersons and members of NHRC & SHRCs from five years to three years with provision for re-appointment. According to the 2019 Bill Chairperson & member will function till the term of the tenure or till the age of seventy whichever is earlier. According to 2019 Bill, Chairperson of NHRC will exercise all administrative and financial powers (except judicial functions and the power to make regulations under section 40 B).Amendment to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the 1993 Protection of Human Rights Act include Chairperson of the National Commission for Backward Classes, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as deemed Members of the Commission .

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