A lawyers’ body on Friday moved the Supreme Court against any moves for appointing former Chief Justice of India Justice P Sathasivam for the post of Chairman in National Human Rights Commission.
The petition filed by All India Bar Association (AIBA), also seeking direction to the Centre to frame a transparent selection procedure and take consent from other available former CJIs who are below the age of 70 years, was mentioned before a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra.
“Let me see the papers,” the CJI said after senior advocate S P Singh sought urgent hearing on the petition filed through AIBA’s chairman Adish C. Aggarwala.
The petition cited media reports suggesting that Justice Sathasivam, who is now the Governor of Kerala is being solely considered to succeed former CJI K G Balakrishnan as the NHRC Chief.
It said there are other former CJIs–Justices R M Lodha, Altamas Kabir and S H Kapadia–but the Centre has not only considered but has already obtained consent of Justice Sathasivam for his appointment as Chairperson of the NHRC.
Besides some allegations, the lawyers’ body in its petition raised issue of conflict of interest contending that Sathasivam being a part of the executive arm should be kept away from the post of NHRC which receives complaints of rights violation against government.
It contended that the proper procedure as laid down under the Protection of Human Rights Act for appointment of the Chairperson was not being followed and undue preference was being given to one candidate.
Justice Sathasivam took over as Governor of Kerala on September 5, 2014.