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Opposition Leader Objects as New Chief Takes Helm of Human Rights Panel

The State Government Appoints Former Chief Justice S Manikumar as Chairman of the State Human Rights Commission.

During the official meeting, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan expressed strong objections to Manikumar’s appointment.

The Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission is chosen by a committee including the Assembly Speaker, Chief Minister, and Leader of Opposition. However, even if the Opposition Leader opposes, the Chairperson can still be appointed.

At the meeting, the Chief Minister proposed only Manikumar’s name, which Satheesan opposed. Tradition dictates that all committee members should be informed of deserving candidates ahead of time.

In his dissenting note, Satheesan questioned the selection of a single candidate, doubting Manikumar’s ability to be impartial given his past role as Chief Justice.

Satheesan vehemently opposed the appointment as a violation of democratic norms, criticizing the disregard for due process.

Manikumar, who retired from the Kerala High Court on April 24, had previously served as Assistant Solicitor General and Madras High Court judge before becoming Kerala’s Chief Justice in 2019.

The government’s lavish send-off for Manikumar at a star hotel drew Opposition criticism, breaking the tradition of holding a full court reference for retiring Chief Justices.

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