“BJP govt refused to consider any SCs, STs, OBCs or minorities,” Congress leader opposes NHRC chief appointment

The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, on Wednesday tweeted a note expressing his “disagreement” with the appointment of Former Supreme Court judge Arun Kumar Mishra and other members of the Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Kharge was part of the committee that decided on the appointments in a meeting held on May 31.

In his dissent note, Congress leader mentioned that he had written to the prime minister earlier, suggesting the inclusion of “at least one person belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities [communities]”.

Mishra who had retired from the Supreme Court in September last year, on Wednesday took over as the chairperson of the NHRC.

The post of the NHRC chief had been lying vacant since HL Dattu, former chief justice of India, had completed his tenure in December 2020.

“Since the committee did not accept any of my proposals, I express my disagreement with the recommendations made by the committee in regard to appointments to the posts of chairperson and members of NHRC,” Kharge said.

He also said that the new appointments “smack of partisanship and quid pro quo”.

In February, Mishra was criticised by the Supreme Court Bar Association after he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him an “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius, who thinks globally and acts locally”.

The new appointment as the NHRC chief has led to questions from other quarters too.

Opposition leaders including Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra MP indicated that the appointment was a politically motivated one.