Govt. told to reconstitute SHRC without further delay

A Division Bench of the High Court that consisted of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and C. Praveen Kumar directed the government to take immediate steps for the reconstitution of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and posted the matter to March 22 while observing that there can’t be a debate whether it (SHRC) should be appointed.

The judges asserted that the matter should not be prolonged further as SHRC is an important statutory body, and told the Advocate-General S. Sriram that they would like the process to be completed by the next date of hearing.

In his reply, Mr. Sriram sought time till the third week of March and the matter has been posted to the above date.

The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by AP Civil Liberties Association joint secretary B. Mohan Rao, who alleged wilful disobedience and deliberate violation of the order passed on October 30, 2019 by the then Chief Justice J.K. Maheswari and Justice K. Vijaya Lakshmi that the State government should reconstitute the SHRC in compliance with The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2019.

The petitioner’s counsel P. Suresh Kumar stated in the contempt petition that the government had given an undertaking to reconstitute the SHRC within four months (from October 30, 2019) but no steps were taken by it thereafter. Since the Division Bench’s order is more than a year old, the government cannot drag its feet further lest thousands of aggrieved should be deprived of justice, he submitted.

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