A high-powered recommendation committee has reportedly proposed the name of Justice Arun Mishra, who retired from the Supreme Court last year, to be the new NHRC chairperson.

A file photo of former Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra
news Policy Tuesday, June 01, 2021 - 09:44

Former judge in the Supreme Court of India, Justice Arun Mishra, is likely to be appointed as the new chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission. The Hindu reported that a high-powered recommendation committee has proposed his name. Justice Mishra retired as a Supreme Court judge on September 2, 2020. 

According to the Hindu, The selection panel consisted of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge. Congress’s Kharge recommended that a panel select a representative from either a Dalit, Adivasi or a minority committee, since many complaints come from these communities, so the NHRC should have representation for the same.

The other names that were discussed were former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Mahesh Mittal Kumar and former Director of Intelligence Bureau, Rajiv Jain. An official notification announcing the new NHRC chairperson is awaited. 

The NHRC has been without a chairperson since its former head ex-Chief Justice of India Justice HL Dattu retired in December 2020. Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India, is currently serving as the acting chairperson.

Justice Mishra was appointed as a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 25, 1999. He was then appointed as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court in November 2010, and was transferred to Calcutta High Court at Calcutta in December 2012 as the Chief Justice. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in June 2014 and heard many politically sensitive and high-profile cases in the five years before his retirement. Though he pronounced many verdicts and orders on issues ranging from the environment to the interests of hassled home buyers, as well as issues related to the telecom sector, his tenure was also remembered for its controversies, like the judgment in the Prashant Bhushan contempt case and the land acquisition case. 

Justice Mishra praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inaugural function of the International Judicial Conference 2020 had also been criticised, as he was a sitting judge praising a member of the Executive. During his address, on ‘Judiciary and the Changing World’ at the Supreme Court, Justice Mishra had termed Modi as an “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius, who thinks globally and acts locally.” 

Also read: SC Justice Arun Mishra: A look at seven controversies during his tenure