Former cop's likely elevation to Bengal rights panel chair opposed
A rights group Friday urged Governor M.K. Narayanan not to name former police officer Naparajit Mukherjee as acting chairperson of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).
The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), which has filed a writ petition before the Calcutta High Court opposing Mukherjee's appointment as a panel member, faxed a letter to Narayanan urging that Mukherjee be not given the responsibility to chair the panel in the interim.
"Most of the human rights infringements are engineered by police officers and it will be highly ironical if a former policeman is made the acting chair of the panel. Moreover, our petition opposing Mukherjee's appointment is pending. So, in the interest of justice, he should not be given the responsibility," APDR secretariat member Ranjit Sur said.
A former director general of police, Mukherjee, appointed as the panel's non-judicial member, is presently its sole member following the resignation of Justice (retd.) A.K. Ganguly as its chairperson. The commission currently is non-functional as Mukherjee, being the lone member, cannot hear cases or dispose of matters on his own.
Two of its members - Justice (Retd) N.C. Sil and Sourin Roy - had retired earlier following the expiry of their term.
Contending that several instances of police firing and staged shoot-outs took place during Mukherjee's tenure as police chief, the APDR had filed the petition opposing his appointment.
"With a policeman in its fold, people of the state are losing faith in the commission which has now become nonfunctional. So we have also urged the governor to ensure the panel functions with its full membership," added Sur.
(Posted on 10-01-2014)