Passing the order on Monday, a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice A Bimol Singh rejected the adjournment sought by Advocate General of Manipur Lenin Hijam as “not worthy of acceptance”
High Court of Manipur has ordered the Government of Manipur to issue advertisements for filling up the post of Chairperson in the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) within one week from 10 October. The order came following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Urikhimbam Nobokishore Singh against the State of Manipur represented by the Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur.
Passing the order on Monday, a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice A Bimol Singh rejected the adjournment sought by Advocate General of Manipur Lenin Hijam as “not worthy of acceptance”. The Advocate General had sought adjournment stating that advertisement for the post could not be issued owing to the strike within the State Secretariat.
However, the high court found the excuse lacking, asserting that the said strike had concluded long back and issuance of the advertisement would not consume much time. As such, the court gave the State a fleeting opportunity to prove its bona fide.
Advocate Okram Kiranjit appeared for the petitioner.
The petitioner had filed a PIL in August which was heard by the bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice MV Muralidaran. In the hearing on August 31, the AG had stated an advertisement for filling up essential posts in the Manipur Human Rights Commission would be issued within 10 days as the sole member, Khaidem Mani was demitting office nearing the completion of his term. He also assured that the appointment process of the Commission would be completed within two weeks.
The PIL had been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, for issuance of writ in the nature of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, to direct the respondents for appointment of the Chairperson and one member (Judicial) along with appointment of necessary officers and staff of MHRC as mandated under the protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and Manipur Human Rights Commission Service Rules, 2021.
The MHRC was established in 1998 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 along with appointment of Chairperson and Members for the first term. The second term was functional from May, 2005 to May, 2010.
It may be noted that the second and present term of MHRC were constituted only after orders were meted by Manipur High Court. Khaidem Mani was appointed the lone member and acting Chairperson after the court’s order on January 4, 2018.
A notification was issued on August 9, 2019 to fill up the post of Chairperson and one member (Judicial). However, no appointments following the order have been made. Moreover, Respondent 3 had failed to appoint required numbers of officers and staff despite having the Manipur Human Rights Commission Service Rules, 2021.