Bhubaneswar: Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal on Thursday approved the appointment of former judge of Orissa High Court, Justice BP Das, as the Chairperson of the Odisha State Human Rights Commission. The commission had remained headless for seven years. Justice RK Patra, who retired in November 2012, was its last Chairperson.
The Governor also gave his assent to the appointment of senior Orissa High Court advocate Asim Amitabh as OHRC member.
After the retirement of Acting Chairperson Justice BK Mishra on August 15 last year, the rights watchdog had been left headless. In May this year, retired Orissa JC judge Justice Raghubir Dash was authorised to act as the OHRC Chairperson following the intervention of the HC. Justice Dash was an OHRC Member since December last.
Recently, a four-member committee comprising the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Pradipta Kumar Naik and Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi met here to select new OHRC Chairperson and Member and sent the names of Justice BP Das and Asim Amitabh to Governor for his approval.
The OHRC was constituted on January 27, 2000 and started its functioning from July 11, 2003 with an objective to protect and promote the rights of the vulnerable sections of the society and inquire into violation of human rights by a public authority.
Justice DP Mohapatra was the first Chairperson, who occupied the post from January 2003 to August 2007. Justice RK Patra held the post from January 2008 to November 2012.
According to reports, around 15,000 cases are now pending disposal at