Former Supreme Court judge Arun Kumar Mishra on Wednesday took over as the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission. Mishra had retired from the Supreme Court in September last year.

The post of the NHRC chief had been lying vacant since HL Dattu, former chief justice of India, had completed his tenure in December 2020.

Meanwhile, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Wednesday tweeted a note expressing his “disagreement” with the appointment of Mishra and other members of the NHRC. The Congress leader was part of the committee that decided on the appointments in a meeting held on May 31.

In his dissent note, Kharge mentioned that he had written to the prime minister earlier, suggesting the inclusion of “at least one person belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities [communities]”.

“Since the committee did not accept any of my proposals, I express my disagreement with the recommendations made by the committee in regard to appointments to the posts of chairperson and members of NHRC,” Kharge said.

In his tweet on Wednesday, the senior Congress leader added that the new appointments “smack of partisanship and quid pro quo”.

Mishra’s appointment as the NHRC chief has led to questions from other quarters too. In February, Mishra was criticised by the Supreme Court Bar Association after he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him an “internationally acclaimed visionary” and a “versatile genius, who thinks globally and acts locally”.

Social media users, including Opposition leaders, indicated that the appointment was a politically motivated one.