Former Chief Justice of India Adarsh Sein Anand has been appointed as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission succeeding J S Verma, who completed his tenure in January.
Justice Anand (66), who retired as the CJI on November 1, 2001, would have a tenure of three years and 10 months as the NHRC chief.
President A P J Abdul Kalam signed the appointment order on Tuesday evening. At the same time, former Supreme Court judge K T Thomas was appointed as a member of the commission.
After being called to the Bar from the Society of Inner Temple in 1964, Justice Anand practiced law in the Punjab and Haryana high court before being appointed as a judge in the Jammu and Kashmir high court in 1975 at the age of 38.
He was appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court in November 1991 and became the CJI on October 10, 1998.
The most memorable case, during his tenure, on human rights was the one pertaining to prisoners.
In the case titled D K Basu Vs State of West Bengal, Justice Anand, as part of a bench, had issued detailed guidelines to prevent abuse of the rights of citizens during investigation and custody.
He has had a distinguished relationship with several human rights organisations and had been unanimously elected as president of the International Institute of Human Rights Society in 1996.
In another judgment relating to custodial deaths, Justice Anand had for the first time invoked the public law jurisprudence doctrine in awarding compensation to the kith and kin of the victim.
He had ruled that when a court granted compensation to the heirs of a victim of custodial torture, it did so in exercise of public law jurisprudence.
Two books authored by him - 'The Constitution of J&K - Its Development & Comments' and 'Justice for Women - Concerns and Expressions' - were well received by the legal fraternity.
In the case the State of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh pertaining to rape of a girl below 16 years of age, Justice Anand had held that rape destroys the very soul of the helpless female while a murder only destroyed the physical body.
Laying down guidelines for trial in such cases, he had directed that the trial courts need not reveal the names of the victims in their judgments and hold an in camera trial as far as possible.
Changing the ever dominating role of a father in a child's career, Justice Anand in the Geetha Hariharan vs Reserve
Bank of India case had ruled that a mother could be regarded as a guardian even during the lifetime of the father of the child.
Earlier, the mother could be regarded as a guardian only after the death of the father of the child.
A widely traveled person, Justice Anand has attended numerous conferences on a wide variety of legal issues across the world and is an active participant in the Indo-US, Indo-British and Indo-Canadian legal fora.