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  1. 1. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) - Informative & researched article on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Articles in Indian Go Administration RSS Free E- Art & Culture | Entertainment | Health | Reference | Sports | Society | Travel Forum | Feeds | magazine Indian Administration : Ancient Indian Political System l Constitution of India l Divisions in Indian Administration l Government of India l State Governments in India l Indian Judiciary l Indian Economy l Constitutional Bodies in India l Indian Civil Awards l Local Self Governments l Indian Political Parties l Foreign Relation of India l Indian Government Departments l National Symbols of India l Indian Media l Indian Armed Forces l Council of Ministers of India l Indian CoinsHome > Reference > Indian Administration > Constitutional Bodies in India > National Human RightsCommission (NHRC) National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)National Human Rights Commission is an expression of India`s concern for the protection and promotion of human rights. Free E- magazine Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Indian Administration National Human Rights Commission came into being in October, 1993. In terms of Section 2 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, "human rights" means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed under the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India. "International Covenants" means the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General
  2. 2. Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December, 1966.Functions of National Human Rights CommissionThe Commission performs all or any of the following functions,namely:-a) Inquire, on its initiative or on a petition presented to it by a victim or anyperson on his behalf, into complaint of-i) Violation of human rights or abetment or ii) negligence in the prevention ofsuch violation, by a public servant;b) Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of humanrights pending before a court with the approval of such court;c) Visit, under intimation to the State Government, any jail or any otherinstitution under the control of the State Government, where persons aredetained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to studythe living condition of the inmates and make recommendations thereon.d) Review the safeguards by or under the Constitution or any law for the timebeing in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures fortheir effective implementation;e) Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment ofhuman rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;f) Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and makerecommendations for their effective implementation;g) Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;h) Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promoteawareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights throughpublications, the media, seminars and other available means;i) encourage the efforts of non-Governmental organisations and institutionsworking in the field of human rights;j) Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion ofhuman rights.While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all thepowers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, andin particular the following, namely;a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining themon oath;b) Discovery and production of any document;c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;f) Any other matter which may be prescribed.The autonomy of the Commission derives, inter-alia, from the method ofappointing its Chairperson and Members, their fixity of tenure, and statutoryguarantees thereto, the status they have been accorded and the manner inwhich the staff responsible to the Commission - including its investigativeagency - are appointed and conduct themselves. The financial autonomy of theCommission is spelt out in Section 32 of the Act.The Chairperson and Members of the Commission are appointed by thePresident on the basis of recommendations of a Committee comprising thePrime Minister as the Chairperson, the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the HomeMinister, the leaders of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha andthe Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as Members.Inquiring into complaints is one of the major activities of the Commission. Inseveral instances individual complaints have led the Commission to the genericissues involved in violation of rights, and enabled it to move the concerned
  3. 3. authorities for systemic improvements. However, the Commission also activelyseeks out issues in human rights which are of significance, either suo motu, orwhen brought to its notice by the civil society, the media, concerned citizens, orexpert advisers. Its focus is to strengthen the extension of human rights to allsections of society, in particular, the vulnerable groups.The Commission`s purview covers the entire range of civil and political, as wellas economic, social and cultural rights. Areas facing terrorism and insurgency,custodial death, rape and torture, reform of the police, prisons, and otherinstitutions such as juvenile homes, mental hospitals and shelters for womenhave been given special attention. The Commission has urged the provision ofprimary health facilities to ensure maternal and child welfare essential to a lifewith dignity, basic needs such as potable drinking water, food and nutrition, andhighlighted fundamental questions of equity and justice to the less privileged,namely the Indian Scheduled Castes and Indian Scheduled Tribes and theprevention of atrocities perpetrated against them. Rights of the disabled, accessto public services, displacement of populations and especially of tribal by megaprojects, food scarcity and allegation of death by starvation, rights of the child,rights of women subjected to violence, sexual harassment and discrimination,and rights of minorities, have been the focus of the Commission`s action onnumerous occasions.Ever since its constitution in 1993, the National Human Rights Commission hasbeen discharging a role complementary to that of the Supreme Court of Indiaby performing those tasks which by their very nature the NHRC can performbetter e.g. monitoring any situation or functioning of an institution. Thecomplementarities between these institutions have considerably improved themechanism for the protection of human rights in the country, which is primarilya state responsibility. (Last Updated on : 4/03/2010) More on Constitutional Bodies in India... • Union Public Service • Comptroller and • National Human Commission Auditor General of Rights Commission India (NHRC) • Planning Commission • National Commission • National Commission of India for Backward Classes for Scheduled Tribes • National Commission • National Commission • Central Vigilance for Scheduled Castes for Women Commission • Public Service • Finance Commission of • University Grants Commissions in India India Commission Recently Updated Articles in Indian Administration Removal of Judges Removal of Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court takes place only on the grounds of misbehaviour and incapacity to perform. But till date there has been only one instance of removal of judges. Comptroller and Auditor General of India Comptroller and Auditor General is one of the strong pillars of democracy. The
  4. 4. main objective of Comptroller and Auditor General of India is to promote excellence in the accounting services and the over all governance of the country. Zilla Parishad Zilla Parishad is responsible for the proper functioning of a village. It is the Zilla Parishad which looks after all the aspects of a village so that the rural people are able to enjoy a hassle free, happy life. Gram Panchayat Gram Panchayat is a part of every village in India. It is the duty of the Gram Panchyats to look after the progress and well being of the villages. E-mail this Article | Post a Comment National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) - Informative & researched Sitemap article on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Contact Us | RSS FeedsCopyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of Jupiter Infomedia Pvt. Ltd.This is the html version of the file automatically generates html versions of documents as we crawl the web. Page 1
  5. 5. FOUNDATION DAY OF NATIONAL HUMANRIGHTS COMMISSION12 October 2007I am pleased to be part of the foundation day celebrations of one of the mostpath breaking institutions of country. Today, the NHRC completes 14 yearsof its pioneering work in the promotion and protection of human rights. TheNHRC over the years has come to play a pivotal role in the enforcement ofour constitutional rights and sensitizing the State as well as other agencies tothe importance of human rights.Since its inception in 1993 the NHRC has been at the forefront of protectionand promotion of human rights in our country. It has made significantcontributions to bring a human rights approach to legislation, policy andprogrammes in our country. Its contributions in India have gone beyond theexpected role of investigating alleged violations, conducting publicinquiries, exercising advisory jurisdiction, providing advice and assistance togovernments, creating awareness, promoting interaction, exchange, andbetter coordination among other state and international human rights1 Page 2institutions and publishing annual reports.. Its contributions in the fields ofchild labour, rights of the disabled, education, food security, right to health,right to development and good governance; making the Indian CriminalJustice System victim centric and custodial justice, sexual harassment andtrafficking of women in India; to name a few issues, have been pertinenttowards strengthening the Human Rights Jurisprudence in our country in thepast decade and a half. It has set the agenda for a methodology towards arights based approach at an international level as well.The success of the NHRC can be gauged from the fact that while it received496 complaints in its first year (1993-94) to an impressive 82,233complaints this year.Over the years the NHRC has highlighted several important human rightsissues and taken on many challenges cases. The commission took up theissue of starvation deaths with the collaboration of the Supreme Court in1996 and has made several significant contributions. Its role in the ‘PunjabMass Cremation Case’ where it highlighted the concept of deemed custodywith the police and awarded compensation has been appreciated by one and2 Page 3all. The commission’s work with respect to overseeing the functioning of
  6. 6. Mental Health Institutions has also been laudable.The NHRC should set the agenda for state human rights commissions andempower and inspire them to proactively strengthen human rights regimethrough various initiatives at the state level. The 2006 Amendment to theProtection of Human Rights Act 1993, that enables the NHRC to transfer acase to the State Human Rights Commissions.However, the role of the Human Rights commissions cannot be viewed inisolation. The role and impact of the NHRC and state human rightscommissions also depends on the strength of their financial and otherresources. Their effectiveness also depends on how well their role isunderstood by collaborative agencies such as the police, judiciary and otherfunctionaries of the state machinery. We must appreciate that unless they aresupported in their efforts there is a danger that the confidence of our citizensin this great institution could be diluted.India has been a nation where many of its people have been denied theirrights and the exploitation of human life has desensitized many of us. In this3 Page 4context, NHRC should continue with it focus on educating our nation on theimportance of human rights for human rights.Globalization has also led to interesting yet formidable challenges in the areaof Human Rights Jurisprudence. And in the era of globalization the NHRChas a key role to play in ensuring that the all sections of society canproductively engage with the expansion of opportunities. We must ensurethat globalization does not further perpetuate the gross economic and socialinequalities that exist in our country. By ensuring equal opportunities andprotecting citizens against discrimination and inaction, the NHRC canprovide a level playing field to all our citizens and help in shaping ourcountry into a truly global leader.The NHRC and other institutions concerned with the development ofgood governance must also examine how the harnessing of technology canhelp in the promotion of good governance. Technology if harnessed well anduniversalized in access can be a great social leveler. . For instance, theimpact of the internet and related technologies in the promotion of goodgovernance through better delivery of various government services cannotbe underscored. Thus, promotion of universal access of technology, in4 Page 5particular, of the internet and tele-communications would go a long way instrengthening the social fabric of our society and deepening democracy itself
  7. 7. And as long as India as a country is unable to bridge the wide socio-economic gap amongst its people, the challenge towards development ofappropriate Human Rights Jurisprudence and its practice, protection andenforcement must remain a constant and rigorous effort. I am certain thatunder the able leadership of Justice Rajendra Babu and his team, the NHRCwill not only sustain its momentum but also break new ground in theprotection and promotion of human rights values.5