From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NHRC, SHRC and their compositions
Mains level : Particulars of the Bill
- Lok Sabha has passed The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Why such Amendment?
- The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 was enacted to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the State HRC and the Human Rights Courts for protection of human rights.
- Certain State Governments have proposed for amendment as they have been facing difficulties in finding suitable candidates to the post of Chairperson of the respective SHRCs owing to the existing eligibility criteria.
- The proposed amendments will enable both the NHRC and SHRCs to be more compliant with the Paris Principles.
Highlights of the Amendment
- A person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is also made eligible to be appointed as Chairperson of the Commission in addition to the person who has been the CJI;
- To increase the Members of the NHRC from two to three of which, one shall be a woman;
- To 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;
- To reduce the term of the Chairperson and Members of the NHRC and the SHRCs from five to three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment;
- To provide that a person who has been a Judge of a High Court is also made eligible to be appointed as Chairperson of the SHRC in addition to the person who has been the Chief Justice of the High Court; and,
- To confer upon State Commissions, the functions relating to human rights being discharged by the UTs, other than the UT of Delhi which will be dealt with by the Commission.