Nayak's appointment as law panel chief challenged

'He is ineligible for employment under State or Central govt'

Nayak's appointment as law panel chief challenged

The appointment of Justice S R Nayak as the chairman of the Karnataka Law Commission has been challenged before the Karnataka High Court.

A writ petition has been filed in this regard by H M Farooq stating that Justice Nayak’s appointment as chairman was in violation of the Protection of Human Rights Act.

The State government had appointed Justice Nayak as the chairman of the Law Commission in June 2013. A person to be appointed chairman of the Law Commission shall be a person who has held the office of the Chief Justice of High Court or that of a judge of the Supreme Court. Justice Nayak was the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.

In the capacity of a retired Chief Justice, Justice Nayak was appointed chairperson of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission in 2007. He served as chairperson of the SHRC from July 2007 to July 2012. Justice Nayak took charge as the Law Commission chairman on June 27, 2014.

The petitioner claimed that the government notification (Number/Law/26 /KLM 2014 dated 26.06.2014) was in contrary to Section 24 (3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act. The petitioner stated that Section 24 (3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 stipulates that, “On ceasing to hold office, the chairperson or a member (SHRC) shall be ineligible for further employment under the government of the State or under the Government of India.”

“It is pertinent to note that Justice Nayak, after ceasing as chairperson of Karnataka Human Rights Commission, was once again appointed and employed by the Government of Karnataka with utter disregard for the provisions of Section 24(3) of the Protection of Human Rights Act,” the petitioner claimed.

The petitioner has prayed for quashing of the appointment of Justice Nayak as the chairman of the Law Commission.

“The Law Commission of Karnataka is a very important body under the Government of Karnataka, which is constituted to look into the lacunae in laws and recommend abolishing obsolete laws. The appointment is ex facie illegal, void and abuse of process of law resulting in gross failure of justice. Further, it is in utter violation of the mandatory provision stipulated under the Protection of Human Rights Act,” the petitioner submitted.

The Karnataka Law Commission was constituted by the State government in 2009 and consists of a full-time chairman, a full-time member who shall be retired judge of High Court of Karnataka, a full-time member secretary who shall be retired district judge and five ex officio members who shall be Advocate General of Karnataka, Law Secretary of Karnataka, secretary, Karnataka Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, Dean, Faculty of Law, Bangalore University, secretary, Parliamentary Affairs and one more ex officio honorary member, director, Karnataka Institute for Law and Parliamentary reform.

The functions of the Law Commission of Karnataka include suggesting amendment, modification in the existing laws, proposed laws, drafting new laws for effective functioning of the market economy, deletion of obsolete laws, providing assistance to the State Legislature in drafting laws, suggesting steps for administrative reforms and providing suggestions of settlement of inter-state disputes.

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