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GHRC writes to govt urging to fill vacancies

Panjim: The Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) has sought immediate attention of the State government to fill in the vacant posts in view of the acute staff shortage the Commission is reeling under.

Transfers of two staff – posted in the GHRC on deputation – back to their parent department in the next few days would further add to the woes. Two other staffers on deputation were recently relieved from their duty and their replacement has not been arranged so far.

In its letter to the Home Department, GHRC Secretary M Fernandes said the transfers of the staff have impacted the working the commission. “The Commission is facing acute shortage of staff on account of repatriation of the staff members which has badly affected the functioning of the Commission,” reads the letter naming four staff who were and those who are about to be relieved from the Commission.

Senior Assistant Shivdas Govekar’s deputation period lapsed on February 28, 2019 and he was relieved on March 1, 2019 while another official Legal Assistant Vivek Naik whose deputation period ended on March 11, 2019 and he was relieved the following day have been the recent instance. The Commission Secretary further brought to the notice of the government that two others, Junior Assistant Dionisio Pires and Senior Stenographer Virginia Candida Rodrigues will be relieved soon after their deputation period ends on April 20, 2019 and March 31, 2019 respectively.

“In view of the above circumstances (referring to the four cases) the functioning of this Commission is likely to come to a grinding halt in the event of the staff members who have been relieved and those who are likely to be relieved are not replaced forthwith. I, therefore, request you to either replace the above staff members immediately or in the alternative the earlier staff may be sent on deputation afresh by relaxing the cooling period, as per the Rules. This may be treated on top priority basis to avoid further inconvenience to this Commission,” the letter stated.

Besides the administrations staff, the Commission also does not have a Chairperson since 2016. The GHRC is presently functioning under just one member A D Salkar. Herald had reported last month that after Chairman Justice (retd) Prafulla Misra’s tenure ended on March 3, 2016, no full-time Chairman has been appointed by the government.

After much correspondence with the government, member A D Salkar was appointed as acting chairman but for a brief period as the order was thereafter revoked. In another setback, the commission’s other member J A Keny died in September 2018 leaving just one member to handle the cases. [H]

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