Former CJI HL Dattu takes over as NHRC chairman

Justice KG Balakrishnan completed his tenure on May 11, last year following which member of the Commission Justice Cyriac Joseph held charge as the acting Chairperson.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: February 29, 2016 2:44 pm
NJAC act, NJAC news, H L Dattu, Supreme court NJAC, NJAC vs collegium, india news, latest news, supreme court news, narendra modi, njac modi, sc njac, Indian express File photo of Chief Justice of India H L Dattu

Former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu on Monday took charge as the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He is the seventh Chairperson of the Commission. Justice KG Balakrishnan completed his tenure on May 11, last year following which member of the Commission Justice Cyriac Joseph held charge as the acting Chairperson.

Justice Dattu has been associated with several significant judgments. He was on the bench that expanded the Indian jurisprudence on death sentence cases by commuting the death penalty of terror convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar to life term over mental illness and an inordinate delay in deciding his mercy plea by the government.

Justice Dattu also headed the bench that acquitted 11 persons charged under terror laws telling the Gujarat police that no innocent person should be branded a terrorist and put behind bars simply because he belongs to a minority community.

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Empathising with the ‘My name is Khan but I am not a terrorist’ lament, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said law cannot be abused to harass any person owning to his religion. He pronounced a landmark ruling with the observation that “bail is the rule and jail an exception” while granting bail to five big corporate in the 2G case.

He was on the Constitution Bench that declared as “unconstitutional” a law enacted by Kerala to restrict water level in the Mullaperiyar dam to 136 feet, while protecting the legal right of Tamil Nadu.

Born on December 3, 1950 in Chikamagaluru district of Karnataka, Justice Dattu, after completing his early education in Kadur, Tarikere and Birur, moved to Bengaluru to pursue his higher studies. He completed his LLB from Bengaluru and enrolled at the Karnataka Bar Council on October 23, 1975 as an advocate and pleaded in civil, criminal, constitutional and taxation matters.

He was appointed as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court on December 18, 1995 and elevated as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court on February 12, 2007. On May 18, 2007, he was transferred to head the Kerala High Court. He was elevated as the Judge of the Supreme Court December 17, 2008 and was appointed as the Chief Justice of India on September 28, 2014. He retired on December 2, 2015.

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  1. A
    ak dev
    Feb 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm
    First thing Dattu should do is to investigate the human rights violation by opposition leaders who are being tried for anti-national activities.
    1. A
      Feb 29, 2016 at 11:22 am
      All such Commissions are rehabilitation centres for retired sycophants.
      1. D
        Dr Kodur
        Mar 30, 2016 at 4:01 pm
        Rtd CJI Dattu must answer all allegations against him and his controversial role as a Judge. Even his appointment as CJI is questionable. He is a symbol of mive corruption in judiciary and obviously he managed all his appointments.
        1. A
          Feb 29, 2016 at 10:11 am
          Justice dattu as made lot of money as chief justice now he is going to make money as human rights chief
          1. T
            Feb 29, 2016 at 10:07 am
            it is a black day in the history of india that tainted judge dattu is taking over as human rights commission , he doesn't got the post because of his merit but he has done lot of favour to the modi government compromising his integrity
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