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Despite BJP protest, ex-judge to be NHRC member

Author: Maneesh Chhibber
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: April 8, 2013
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/despite-bjp-protest-exjudge-to-be-nhrc-member/1099122/0

Ignoring the BJP's protest, the UPA government is likely to appoint former Supreme Court Judge Cyriac Joseph as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

At the next meeting of the NHRC selection committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, the government is likely to seek unanimity on Joseph's candidature. Sources said if Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley oppose it, the government may decide to ignore the dissent and appoint Joseph.

At the last meeting, when the government tried to push Joseph's name, Swaraj and Jaitley had raised the issue of an intelligence report about him and sought clarification from the government. The government had then kept the issue on hold.

However, using its majority — the other panel members are Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien — the government ignored the BJP leaders' opposition to the candidature of then NIA chief S C Sinha and appointed him member, NHRC.

Joseph's name was earlier recommended for the post of chairman, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). But the issue was referred back to CJI

Altamas Kabir for reconsideration in the light of the intelligence report.

Highly-placed sources told The Indian Express that the report was also shared with the CJI, who is likely to send his recommendation, which could be Supreme Court Judge Aftab Alam who retires on April 18, soon. Asked if he had decided to recommend Alam's name for the post, the

CJI today said: "The matter is still under consideration."
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