Andhra High Court ex-CJ to head Tripura rights panel

Agartala, Oct 27 (IANS) Former Andhra Pradesh High Court chief justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta will be the first chairman of the Tripura Human Rights Commission, an official said here on Tuesday.

“A three-member committee headed by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has chosen the chairman and members of the Tripura Human Rights Commission,” a law department official said.

He said the committee at its meetings on October 19 and 26 decided to appoint Justice Sengupta as the chairman and former principal secretary of the state R.P. Meena and former law secretary Samiran Das as members of the commission.

Tripura assembly Speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath and Leader of Opposition Sudip Roy Barman of the Congress are the members of the selection committee.

Justice Sengupta was sworn-in as the Lokayukta in Sikkim on May 18. He will quit this post to take up the new assignment.

Justice Sengupta was also the judge of the Uttarakhand High Court before being made the Andhra Pradesh High Court chief justice in May 2013.

He earlier practised at the Calcutta High Court.

Chief Minister Sarkar recently said here: “According to rules, the commission chairman has to be a retired Supreme Court judge or retired high court chief justice. For many years, we looked for such a retired judge but failed.”

“In 2007, the state government constituted the Police Accountability Commission, with provisions to protect the human rights of the state’s people. Cases of human rights violations are extremely low in Tripura,” said Sarkar, who holds the home portfolio.

The Supreme Court recently said it was the statutory duty of the state governments to set up human rights commissions, and it was a matter of regret that despite the National Human Rights Commission’s strong and repeated calls state commissions have not been set up.

The court directed the governments in Tripura, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Arunchal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland to set up these commissions.

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