Demand for Immediate removal of Justice (Retd) Arun Mishra from the post of Chairman(NHRC)

Demand for Immediate removal of Justice (Retd) Arun Mishra from the post of Chairman(NHRC)

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RAMJI SHARMA ने The President (Republic of India) और को संबोधित करके ये पेटीशन शुरू किया

Sir,
The appointment of Justice Arun Mishra is a flagrant violation of the `Paris Principles’ which govern the recognition of the NHRC in international law. The Paris Principles mandate the international minimum standards that all National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) have to meet irrespective of the size of the NHRIs – if they are to be `legitimate, credible and effective in promoting and protecting human rights’. Of the 6 foundational principles, the appointment of Justice Mishra directly violates  3, the independence guaranteed by the legislation or the constitution. There can be no iota of doubt that effective NHRI’s should have “independent members who exercise independent thinking and leadership”. 
NHRC itself has acknowledged their responsibility to comply with the Paris Principles and accreditation by GANHRI (Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions set up by the UN Human Rights Council). They have declared in their website that they have complied with the above principles sufficient to be re-accredited as an “A” Level NHRI by GANHRI in 2019. The appointment of Justice Mishra seriously repudiates the Paris Principles and has to be questioned.  
 As the judiciary never tires of saying, justice should not only be done, but seen to be done. A big casualty of the appointment of a person like Justice Mishra will be the trust and confidence of people, especially victims of rights violations in the independence of the NHRC. It has also been a protocol in practice that a former Chief of the Apex Court or a Justice with a proven track record would be nominated as chairman of the National Human Rights Commission. His entire career in higher judiciary has been under obligation to perform enthusiastically outstanding in the interest of few especially one or two corporate houses upon the interest of the people of the nation at large. Whenever, there has been an interest of public or social order like minority, backward, extremely backward, schedule caste, schedule tribe, or land acquisition, he has disappointed the people as a whole by serving pro establishment pro government interest by his precedence. 
We would like to point out that in matters involving critical right to life and livelihood issues of people from the margins of society, Justice Mishra as SC judge had scant respect for their plight. He was much criticised for ordering the eviction of millions of poor forest dwellers in a PIL challenging the Forest Rights Act and the order was kept in abeyance only after numerous nation-wide agitations launched by affected tribal communities.
 In personal liberty matters, he tended to prefer a hard line, favouring state action over charges of violation of individual liberties. In land acquisition matters, a study of the dominant pattern in his orders indicated a tendency to favour the state as against individual landowners who challenged the land acquisition.  In short, in all politically sensitive cases he always sided with the Central Government or acted in a manner to help some of the top leaders of the Central Government. These include Loya Case, Sahara Birla Corruption Case, Sanjiv Bhat Case, Haren Pandya Case, the tussle within CBI case, bail for Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha. Freedom of speech and Advocating freedom of speech in his precedents was to the extent of being criminally contemptuous, which can also easily be illustrated by the case of contempt against prominent advocate of Supreme Court Mr. Prashant Bhusan.
We highlighted only cases relating to human rights. His record in deciding land acquisition cases involving compensation claims indicated a clear bias to dismiss the appeals filed by private individuals  in favour of the respondent-state. In contrast, in matters where the appeals were filed by the state (Governments) and its instrumentalities, invariably he either allowed the appeals or partly decided them in their favour. He infamously presided over a 5-judge Bench on land acquisition, set up to reconcile a conflict in opinion between an earlier 3-judge Bench and a Bench presided by him.  Requests that he should recuse himself as there was conflict of interest with him heading the 5-judge Bench which was examining his previous judgment, not only fell on deaf ears, but brushed aside. 
We have not yet forgotten the unprecedented action of 4 of the senior most SC judges consisting of Justice Gogoi, Chelameswar, Madan Lokur and Joseph, conducting a press conference in January, 2019. The immediate trigger for the press conference was the assignment of the Judge Loya case to a Bench headed by Justice Arun Kumar Mishra. The 4 judges also pointed to how cases were being fixed and sent to particular Benches  and people inside the judicial system knew that the court was of Justice Arun Mishra for favourable orders.
In light of the facts and circumstances stated above scrutinizing the track record of justice misra it is to be prayed by the humble advocates associated with Indian Association of lawyers to please set aside the decision of appointing Justice(retd.) Arun Mishra as Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in order to let the communities such as Minorities, Dalits and other marginalised to feel more trust and confidence in constitutional democracy of India.


Yours Faithfully,

Yogesh Chandra Verma,Senior Advocate,Patna High Court

Ramjiban Prasad Singh, Advocate, Patna High Court

Manju Sharma, Advocate, Patna High Court

Sagar Suman, Advocate, Patna High Court

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