A panel led by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan last week finalised the members of the state human rights commission that has not worked for almost a year and has 11,367 complaints pending.
The story behind the selection exposes the real state of our statutory bodies: as a post retirement employment option, nearly 40 former bureaucrats and IPS officials had queued up and recommended themselves for the job of the third member of the human rights panel.
The panel zeroed in on SR Banurmath, former chief justice of the Kerala high court, as the chairman of the state human rights panel; MG Gaikwad, former judge of the Bombay high court and law and judiciary secretary, as the second member with expertise in jurisprudence; and Bhagwant More, former IPS official, as its third member.
This list will be now sent to the governor for final assent.
“More was selected because we felt that an IPS background will be relevant to the panel, given that there are so many cases of encounter killings, custodial deaths etc,” said a member.
There are 39 others who will be disappointed with More’s appointment as they were all eyeing the post with a secure five year tenure.
Many of the applicants have had similar stints in another statutory body and were hoping of aspirants included former chief secretary JP Dange, former home secretary AP Sinha, former additional chief secretary BP Pandey, and former bureaucrat Amitabh Chandra, among others.
Among the former IPS officers eyeing this post were AV Parasnis, T Singarwel, Raj Khilani and Subhash Awate.
Dange is currently the chairman of the Fourth State Finance Commission, a post he was offered after being shunted out as chief secretary four months prior to his retirement in 2011.
“All our statutory bodies have lost their relevance, and fail to maintain checks and balances on the government as the appointments are skewed.
The selection procedure is not transparent and nominees are not accountable,” said former chief information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.