CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Thursday set a two-month deadline for the state government to fill up the post of member, of Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) that has been lying vacant since February 9.
The division bench of Justice Subhasis Talapatra and Justice Savitri Ratho while disposing of a PIL filed by Prabir Kumar Das, a high court lawyer and human rights activist, expected the chief secretary and principal secretary of the Law department to ensure the post is filled up in two months as a statutory body like OHRC should function as a full-fledged commission.
The OHRC consists of a chairman and two members. In his petition, Das pointed out that the state government had not filled up the post within the period of three months as stipulated by the Supreme Court. The huge pendency of more than 7,000 cases in OHRC necessitates filling up the vacancy at the earliest.
OHRC is running without a member since the resignation of Justice Raghubir Dash on February 9, Das said. Earlier on May 17, the court had asked state counsel DK Mohanty to take instructions from the government and fixed August 3 for consideration of the matter, hoping that by then the vacancy will be filled up.
But when the petition was taken up on Thursday, Mohanty informed the court that appointment of member of OHRC is under active consideration of the government. The Law Department had stated this in a letter, he said.