By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jul 15: The Division Bench High Court of Manipur today issued notice to Chief Secretary and two other returnable on or before August 17 in connection with the PIL filed for appointment of the Chairperson, member, officials and staff of MHRC.
The notice was issued by division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Ahanthem Bimol after hearing the PIL filed by Urikhimbam Nobokishor through his counsel, Advocate Okram Nutan Chandra and Okram Kiranjit against State of Manipur represented by the Chief Secretary, the Commissioner (Law & Legislative Affairs) and the Manipur Human Right Commission through it secretary as respondents.
The counsel of the petitioner informed the Court that the PIL was filed under Article 226 for issuance of writ in the nature of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or directions as the Court may deem fit and proper for directing the respondents for appointment of the Chairperson, member, officials and staff of MHRC under their relevant acts.
Petitioner’s counsel further informed the Court that the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) was established on June 27, 1998 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 with the appointment of Chairperson and Members for its first term. The second term was functional for the period from May, 2005 to May, 2010. The present term of the MHRC was functional from August 2018. The second and the present term was constituted only after the direction given by the High court of Manipur order dated January 1, 2018 and Khaidem Mani was appointed as the lone member of the MHRC by the respondent and he was also authorized to act as the Chairperson of the commission. However, Khaidem Mani is demitting his office on August 31, 2022, the counsel informed the Court.
Petitioner counsel further submitted that respondent the Commissioner (Law& Legislative Affairs) had issued the notification on August 9, 2019 for filling up the post of Chairperson and one Member (Judicial) of the MHRC. However, till date no appointment of Chairperson or 1 (one) Member (Judicial) has been made. Moreover Secretary, MHRC has also failed to appoint the required officers and staff despite having the Manipur Human Rights Commission Service Rules, 2021 and hence the petition was filed, he added.
Petitioner counsel prayed for giving direction to the State Government and the Commissioner (Law & Legislative Affairs) to fill up the post chairperson and one member (Judicial) of the Manipur Human Right commission as per the notification dated August 9, 2019 and also to give direction to respondent Secretary MHRC for appointment of the requisite officers and staff of the commission. The Court after hearing the submission of the petitioner counsel issued notice to the respondent returnable before August 17.
Advocate General High Court of Manipur Lenin Hijam took notice for the respondents and sought time to file a reply raising preliminary objections as to the maintainability of the case.
The Court has fixed August 17 for the next hearing.