Govt snubs HC order on picking NCPCR board

Turns a deaf ear to civil society members who objected the selection of members who did not fit the bill for the positions


Danish Raza | December 6, 2010

Ignoring the Delhi high court order to consider the objections raised by the civil society, the government has appointed four members to the national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR).

On November 22, the ministry of women and child development appointed Sukanya Bharatram, Dr Yogesh Dube, Dipa Dixit and Vinod Kumar Tikkoo to the commission.
All the four names were present in the ministry’s list of short listed candidates for appointment to the NCPCR.

“When these names were put on the website, we wrote an open letter to the prime minister to look into the matter because we found the candidates unsuitable to join the commission. We also filed a writ petition in Delhi high court,” said Raajmangal Prasad, associated with the NGO, Pratidhi.

On November 1, the court had directed the ministry to consider the objections rose in the petition while finalising the appointments.
However, the ministry of WCD has selected the members.

“We have gone as per the high court order,” said a senior official of the ministry of WCD on the condition of anonymity.

The objection raised against Dipa Dixit is that she is a corporate lawyer with 17 years of experience with not a single case fought on children’s issues. Her selection in the first term had also drawn criticism.

Vinod Kumar Tikoo, said the open letter to the prime minister, had been a banker who was with the Indian Overseas Bank for 23 years. At the time of his nomination, Tikoo was working in a private finance company. “His only exposure to children’s welfare (and not rights) is through his field work placement while pursuing his Masters degree in social work a couple of decades ago.

Yet he gets selected over many other more eligible persons,” said the letter.

About Sukanya Bharatram, the letter said, “Sukanya Bharatram is the great granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation. The question before the second largest democracy in the world today is whether people with such great credentials should be selected on the basis of their connections or on merit?”

Yogesh Dube, according to the petition, is an aspiring Congress politician who had contested the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha Elections in 2009 from Dahisar and lost. “It was alleged that he lost because he runs a beer bar and owns a big hotel in Mumbai. Yet he gets selected to be on a body that is meant to protect children’s rights.”
In the last six months, the civil has written thrice to the prime minister on the issue of lack of transparency in the selection of NCPCR members.

In September, Governance Now had reported the issue (see report below).



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