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Rajya Sabha on Monday, 22nd July, passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 through a voice vote unanimously after the Lok Sabha cleared it last Friday. Union Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah introduced the Bill on 8th July, 2019

The key changes brought about through the amendment are:

  1. A person who has been the Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court can become the NHRC chairperson. High Court Judges also eligible for SHRC Chairperson Appointment.

Previously: only CJIs for NHRC and only CJs of High Courts were eligible for appointment as chairperson.

  1. Three members to be appointed, out of which at least one should be a woman.

Previously: Provision of two members only with no reservation for women members.

  1. Tenure of Chairpersons and Members of National and State Commissions reduced to three years. And all shall be eligible for re-appointment.

Previously: Five years tenure. And reappointment provision only for members.

  1. Chairpersons of National Commission for Backward Classes, the National Commission for Minorities, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Chief Commisioner for Persons with Disabilities added as members

Previously: Chairpersons of only National Commission of Minorities, the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes and the National Commission for Women were counted as members for specific functions under the Act.

-India Legal Bureau

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