The Cabinet has cleared the long-pending Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2019, giving teeth to the rights body. The Bill proposes to include the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as a deemed member, besides adding a woman member to the panel.
The NHRC was constituted under the Protection of Human Rights Act in 1993. The Act was last amended in 2006. The commission includes a chairperson, an incumbent or retired Supreme Court judge, a former Chief Justice of a High Court, and two persons with expertise in matters related to human rights, as members.
The chairperson and members are appointed by the President on recommendations of a six-member committee chaired by the Prime Minister. The present law proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and selection of the chairperson of NHRC as well as the State Human Rights Commission, officials said.
The amendments will strengthen human rights bodies for effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the amended Act will be in sync with the agreed global standards and benchmarks to ensure rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual in the country, a PIB statement said.
The Bill also proposes to amend the term of the chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC to make it in consonance with the terms of chairperson and members of other commissions. Complying with international norms, the amendments will have to be ratified by Parliament.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the revised cost estimates (RCE) of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951 in Assam at a cost of Rs 1,220.93 crore upto December 2018. The NRC scheme covering about 3.29 crore applicants in Assam will help the NRC preparation in Assam.