Karnataka gets human rights body chief
D.H. Waghela is the chairperson; the post was lying vacant for five years
After a five-year wait, the Karnataka government has zeroed in on D.H. Waghela, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka, as the chairperson of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC).
The key post has been lying vacant ever since S.R. Nayak, KSHRC’s first chairperson, demitted office in 2012 after his five-year stint. In the meantime, the Governor had appointed Meera C. Saksena, who was one of the two members, as acting chairperson. She too stepped down on November 20, 2017, after completing her term.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday announced the appointment after a meeting attended by Speaker K.B. Koliwad, Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy, Opposition Leader Jagadish Shettar and Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy.
Chief Justice of 3 HCs
Sixty-three-year-old Waghela has served as Chief Justice of three High Courts — Karnataka, Orissa and Bombay.
He was born in Rajkot to a family of artists and artisans. He secured his LL.M degree before turning 21, and consequently had to wait for a few months to enrol as an advocate. He had secured double academic promotion during his primary education. He became a judge of the High Court of Gujarat in 1999.
Mr. Waghela was elevated as the Chief Justice of Karnataka in March 2013. He took up many issues of public importance during that tenure, one of which related to the issue of out-of-school children.
An order passed by a Bench headed by him ensured that the authorities would take up measures to bring such children to school even in remote areas in the State.
Human rights activists in the State have welcomed the appointment of a full-time chairman to the KSHRC.
Activists have been protesting for over five years now demanding this move. But they were quick to add that the State government should also immediately appoint two members to the KSHRC and ensure the commission does not turn non-functional again.