A public interest litigation seeking appointments to the vacant posts on the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission was filed in the Bombay High Court on Monday.
Newsline had,on March 29,reported the defunct condition of the commission,with its office-bearers chairperson,registrar and two members having either retired or quit from their posts. The commission has been rendered dysfunctional for over a month,leaving the secretaries and assistants of office-bearers with no choice but to cut a sorry picture before complainants. Many of those who approach the commission travel from mofussil areas of the state,only to be asked to return.
The litigation,moved by advocate Prakash Salsingikar,reads: Having constituted the commission,the respondent (state government) is duty bound to keep the same functional and not to allow it to become defunct.
The SHRC,which falls directly under the Chief Ministers office,has its chairperson and other members elected on the recommendations of the CM,Home Minister,Speaker and the Opposition leader. The recommendations are then sent to the Governor for his approval.
Salsingikar states in his petition that the state government had made no efforts to find a replacement to Justice (Retd) Vijay Munshi,one of the commission members,who was scheduled to retire early this year. The Government of Maharashtra did not bother to fill the remaining posts,despite vacancies arising on account of completion of tenure and resignations of the other members. This affected the functioning of the Commission, it says.
The litigation is scheduled for hearing on April 12.
The commission,which has over 4,000 cases pending before it,has been receiving at least 30 new cases a day.
According to records,over 70 per cent of the 45,000 cases registered until March 2011 are against the police.