Lok Sabha passes Protection of Human Rights (Amendment Bill) 2019

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  1. The Lok Sabha has passed Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019. The bill seeks to amend the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
  2. The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 was enacted to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Human Rights Courts for protection of human rights.
  3. The bill provides that besides a former chief justice of India, as is the current requirement, a former Supreme Court judge can also become the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson.
  4. Similarly, a former high court judge can also become a state human rights commission chairperson besides a high court chief
  5. The bill also provides for including the chairpersons of the National Commission for Backward Classes, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities as members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
  6. Further, the bill provides for a reduction in the tenure of chairpersons of national and state human rights bodies to three years from the current five years.
  7. The bill also provides for increasing the Members of the Commission from two to three of which, one shall be a woman.
  8. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is a statutory body which deals with promotion and protection of human rights in India.