After information commissions, it is the turn of child right commissions to turn into parking lots for retired bureaucrats. And rules prescribing minimum eligibility conditions for appointment are being diluted. Delhi has taken the lead this while looking for a chairperson of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).
As per documents accessed under RTI Act by Raj Mangal Prasad of NGO Pratidhi, the Delhi government wants rules to be changed apparently to accommodate a retired bureaucrat Arun Mathur.
“It is felt that additional inputs may be required for the selection of the chairperson, keeping in view the nature of duties performed by the chairperson,” said an internal file noting of Delhi’s women and child development department.
The post of the chairperson had fallen vacant in 2011 after Amod Kanth, former IPS officer and head of child empowerment NGO Prayas, retired. Since then the government has appointed four new members to the commission but not the chairperson.
The Delhi High Court has already prescribed conditions for appointment of chairperson and members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). According to its rules, the chairperson should have a minimum of 15 years of experience in the field of child rights or child welfare. Its members must have a minimum experience of 10 years. Delhi government prescribed to these guidelines while appointing DCPCR’s four members, reveals the RTI reply.
But now it wants to dilute these rules. The file noting, however, does not mention the kind of changes being worked out in eligibility criteria. But sources did say that the requirement of 15 years of experience is being diluted to appoint a retired bureaucrat. And, the reason being given is that the chairperson has to run the commission and therefore, should have administrative abilities. “It works well for an IAS officer,” the source added.
But the Union women and child development ministry, had a different outlook while appointing Shantha Sinha, a Magsasay award-winning child rights activist and academician, as the chairperson of NCPCR. “A chairperson is needed for overall guidance. There is a secretary for administrative matters,” a Central government official said.