New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Friday passed an amendment bill that allows a Supreme Court judge besides the Chief Justice of India to be appointed the chairperson of National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) and increases the number of members from two to three.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed with a voice vote after a reply by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai.
Rai said the government seeks a report if there are allegations of human rights violations against security forces, but care needs to be taken of human rights of terror victims.
The Minister went on to say that the Centre has incorporated suggestions of states in the bill and opposition should not oppose for the sake of opposing.
The government, he said, works hard and delivers on its promises.
"Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai, Shah Hai To Siddhi Hai. (If Modi is there, it is possible. If Shah is there, it will lead to achievement," he said.
Participating in the debate over the bill, BJP MP Satya Pal Singh said that the government is committed to protecting human rights.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the NHRC had suggested that it should be given powers of contempt too.
The Bill, which amends the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, provides 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.
It says that of three members of the commission, at least one will be a woman.
The bill provides that a person who has been Chief Justice or Judge of a High Court will be the chairperson of a State Human Rights Commission.
It seeks to reduce the term of office of chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC to three years from five years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.