HL Dattu takes charge as NHRC Chairperson
The former Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu took charge as the National Human Rights Commission's Chairperson. He succeeded KG Balakrishnan to become the seventh Chairperson of NHRC. He joined the Supreme Court as a judge in 2008, and later became the Chief Justice in 2014. Prior to his SC term, he served the Karnataka HC, Chhattisgarh HC and the Kerala HC.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is an autonomous body which was established in 1993, under 'The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993'. NHRC protects and promotes the human rights stated in the Act as "rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants." New human rights are added, recognized and enforced periodically.
KG Balakrishnan, the NHRC chairperson appointed in June 2010, had completed his five-year-tenure on 11 May 2015. He was a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and served for more than three years; he was the first to be appointed from Kerala. He was accused of allegedly manipulating facts to cover-up ex-Telecom Minister, A. Raja's efforts to coerce the Madras HC's Justice.
KG Balakrishnan was praised for new initiatives taken towards promotion and protection of human rights. A record number of 4,93,445 cases were registered during his tenure, and he reinitiated NHRC's 'Camp Sittings' to dispose of pending cases.
The NHRC had appointed its member, Justice Cyriac Joseph as the 'Acting Chairperson' of the Commission. He had taken charge of the post following the retirement of KG Balakrishnan. Cyriac Joseph was a former judge of the SC of India and joined NHRC in May 2013. NHRC stated that Joseph was approved by the President, and would continue until the next Chairperson was appointed.
A Prime Minister-led panel had decided to appoint the ex-Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu for the post of the NHRC Chairman. The decision was taken at a meeting which was attended by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Rajnath Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad and PJ Kurien. HL Dattu, after his retirement in December 2015, had admitted that he would be running for the post.