Appointment of PHRC member under HC scanner

Acting on a petition challenging the appointment of Lalit Roy Roojam as a member of Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC), the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday issued a notice of motion to the Punjab government, among others.

The petition, filed by Amandeep Singh, came up for hearing before a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain.

The bench issued the notice of motion for February 2. Singh had sought the quashing of the appointment order dated October 27, 2008 of L R Roojam as a member of the PHRC.

Singh apprised the court that Roojam had not possessed the requisite experience of seven years as a district judge in Punjab on the date of his appointment as mandate provision of the Protection of Human Rights Act.

The court was also informed that the Supreme Court, in the case of J S Yadav Versus State of Uttar Pradesh, while interpreting the provision of Section 21 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, has clearly held that a person cannot be appointed as member against the category of district judge unless he possesses seven years' experience.

Lalit Roy Roojam was appointed as additional district judge on August 5, 1992 and on October 10, 1999 he was promoted as district judge, Hoshiarpur and he retired on March 31, 2004.

Singh further submitted that Roojam's total experience is four years five months and three days.

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