Thiruvananthapuram | The opposition Congress on Friday urged Governor Arif Mohammed Khan not to appoint former Kerala High Court Chief Justice S Manikumar as the Chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission.
In a letter sent to Khan, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan requested him to refrain from providing approval to a proposal in this regard by the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
The LoP, in the letter, pointed out that as a member of the selection committee of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), he expressed his strong dissent in appointing the retired Chief Justice as the Chairperson.
He said that the position of Chairperson of the SHRC requires the highest level of probity and must be free of any bias towards the government in power.
"However, some of Justice S Manikumar's decisions as Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court have raised serious concerns about his ability to function impartially and fairly, as required by the Human Rights Commission," Satheesan alleged.
According to current procedure , the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission is chosen after consulting members of the Selection Committee, including the Leader of the Opposition, he further said in the letter.
However, in stark contrast to existing norms, only the name of former Chief Justice was proposed in the meeting, he said, adding the details of the other eligible names in contention, as well as their eligibility, were not provided in advance.
"This decision to unilaterally impose one name is undemocratic and mysterious," Satheesan further alleged.
Further, the government had implicitly revealed its intention to appoint the retired Chief Justice to the post of SHRC through "unusual decisions" involving him long before the selection process began, the senior Congress leader added.