Madras High Court Upholds Retired Judge’s Appointment As Chairman of SHRC

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The Madras High Court today upheld the appointment of its retired judge as the chairman of the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

According to advocate S Logeswar, the petitioner, Justice S Baskaran’s appointment was not legal, as the State had not consulted the Chief Justice of the High Court before making the appointment on January 1 this year.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy upheld the appointment of Justice Baskaran, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, as the chairman of the SHRC, while dismissing a Public Interest Litigation as an ‘utterly frivolous’ one.

Earlier, the bench was informed by State Advocate- General Vijay Narayan that the government need not consult the Chief Justice before making the appointment, as Mr Baskaran was only a retired judge of the High Court.

Consultation is required only in respect of a sitting judge. Since only retired judges or chief justices of the High Court are appointed as chairpersons of the SHRC, there was no need for issuing advertisements inviting applications for the post, too.

It would suffice if the government obtained the names of the retired judges from the Registrar-General of the High Court, he added.

Recording the submissions, the bench dismissed the PIL after describing it as an utterly frivolous one.

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