UPSC PRELIMS 2019: The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019

Topic : The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Polity

 

Amendments proposed:

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019

Sl.No.Provisions under original ActAmendments proposed
1.Under the current Act, the chairperson of the NHRC is a person who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.The Bill seeks to provide that a person who has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a Judge of the Supreme Court will be the chairperson of the NHRC.
2.The Act provides for two persons having knowledge of human rights to be appointed as members of the NHRC.The Bill seeks to allow three members to be appointed, of which at least one will be a woman.
3.Under the Act, chairpersons of various commissions such as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes(NCSC), National Commission for Scheduled Tribes(NCST), and National Commission for Women(NCW) are members of the NHRC.The Bill provides for including also the chairpersons of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as members of the NHRC.
4.The Act states that the chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC will hold office for five years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.The Bill reduces the term of office to three years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

 

 

Facts:

  • NHRC is established under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993.
  • The act defines Human Rights as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.

The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

  • The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
  • The Home Minister
  • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Lower House)
  • The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House)
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House)
  • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House)

 

Sample Question:

With reference to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), consider the following statements :
1. Only a retired Chief Justice of India can become chairman of NHRC.
2. The chairman can be reappointed.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

 

Answer: a) 1 only.

Only a retired Chief Justice of India can become chairman of NHRC. After their tenure, the chairman and members of NHRC are not eligible for further employment under the Central or a state government