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Rights panel: SC sets 3-month deadline

Interim stay on HC order on Lokayukta

SHILLONG: The Supreme Court in an interim order has stayed the order of the High Court of Meghalaya which had disallowed any eminent person to hold the post of Chairman, Lokayukta, while the Court also set a three- month deadline to the government to form Meghalaya State Human Rights Commission.
The counsel for the state government Ranjan Mukherjee said over phone from Delhi on Tuesday that after the hearing held on Monday, the Division Bench of the apex court stayed the earlier order of the High Court.
Mukherjee said that with this, an eminent person can become the Chairperson of Lokyaukta and the Apex Court reserved the matter for final judgment
“During the hearing, we had raised that the Lokayukta Act passed by the state was a valid piece of legislation having received the assent of the Governor,” Mukherjee said, while adding that Meghalaya Lokayukta is modelled on Lokpal Act of 2013 and it had adopted the same provisions like the Lok Pal.
Mukherjee also took an undertaking to establish Meghalaya Human Rights Commission as the apex court ordered that the same should be set up within 3 months.
A  Chairperson, who should be a retired Chief Justice of High Court, and two members form the state human rights panel.
While the state government has shortlisted former judge of the lower court, M.B. Challam and former Meghalaya DGP, P.J.P. Hanaman as members, the Chairperson is yet to be appointed.
Mukherjee said that law department has been asked to find out a retired Chief Justice for appointment as Chairperson.

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