With possible lead towards another political controversy, the Narendra Modi-led central government is all set to appoint an active politician for a post in the National Human Right Commission (NHRC), which remained vacant for over two years now.
According to sources, the central government is in the final stage of appointing Avinash Rai Khanna, the BJP vice-president in charge of Jammu & Kashmir, as a member of NHRC. Khanna had been a member of the Rajya Sabha till April this year.
NHRC comprises of four full-time members, who are appointed under Section 3 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which deals with the issue of “Constitution of a National Human Rights Commission”. According to the act, among the members, one should be a former judge of the Supreme Court, one chief justice of the High Court, and other two with knowledge or practical experience in the field.
The committee is selected by a higher level committee headed by the Prime Minister, with Lok Sabha Speaker, Union Home Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
While in opposition in 2013, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley had opposed the appointment of former Supreme Court judge Cyriac Joseph as the member of the NHRC, citing connections of the judge with political and religious organizations. Though there is no restriction in the appointment of a politician as a member of NHRC, it certainly do seed another political storm.