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State human rights panel becomes defunct

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT


GUWAHATI, Dec 15: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a primer institution constituted to ensure rights of the people of the State, continues to remain headless and virtually defunct with the completion of five-year term of its lone member today.

The BJP government, which has completed six months in office, is yet to initiate the process for appointment of a new Chairperson in the three-member AHRC.

Dr Justice Aftab Hussain Saikia completed his five-year term as the Chairperson of the Commission on November 30 last while the post of one member has been lying vacant since February, 2013.

Justice Saikia is a former Chief Justice of the High Courts of Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir.

Today, Tarun Phookan, Judicial Member of the AHRC demitted office as Member on completion of his term of five years.

Phookan, who is a former District & Sessions Judge, was also the Member, Foreigners’ Tribul at Mangaldoi, Darrang before joining as a Judicial Member of the Assam Human Rights Commission.

The PHRA provides that a State Government may constitute a State Human Rights Commission with a former Chief Justice as a Chairperson; one Member, who is, or has been a Judge of a High Court or District Judge in the State with minimum of seven years experience as District Judge; and one Member to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge or practical experience in matters relating to human rights.

“It is highly unfortute that even after a lapse of around one month, the state government has not initiated the process to appoint new Chairperson and members of the commission,” said a human rights activist.

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