Human rights should not be violated in any civilized country, it should be taken care of, in this context the National Human Rights Commission was established in India.
In this article, we will discuss the National Human Rights Commission in a simple and easy way and understand its various important aspects; That is why definitely read this article till the end, hope you will get all the important information here.
National Human Rights Commission
What is Human Rights?
Rights that we must have as human beings. In other words, human rights mean those fundamental rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. Such as the right to life and to be free, freedom of expression, equality before the law, the right to food, the right to work, the right to education and economic, social and cultural rights as well as the right to participate in cultural activities, etc.
It is not bound by the boundaries of any state, but it is for the entire human race. That is why, taking an important initiative in this regard, in December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and called upon all civilizations and countries to adopt it.
The UDHR is a landmark document declaring the fundamental rights that everyone enjoys as a human being, irrespective of race, colour, religion, gender, language, political opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or regardless of other condition.
Many human rights advocacy countries and organizations still take inspiration from this document and try to live up to this standard. See for yourself what is written in it.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
|Since the acceptance of the innate dignity and respect and inalienable rights of all the members of the human family is the foundation of world peace, justice and liberty,|
since, the neglect and hatred of human rights has resulted in such barbarous acts which have affected the soul of man. oppressed, therefore it is imperative that a world be established in which all human beings can achieve freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and deprivation, which is the most important desire of the human community.
Since it is necessary that man should not revolt as the last weapon against tyranny and oppression, therefore human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
since it is necessary to encourage the establishment of friendly relations among nations,
Whereas, the countries of the United Nations reaffirmed their faith in the Declaration of Fundamental Human Rights, the dignity and importance of man and the equal rights of men and women, and resolved to promote a better standard of living and social development for the achievement of universal freedom Whereas ,
Member States, in cooperation with the United Nations, have resolved to promote the respect and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the global level,
since the universal concept of these rights and freedoms is of paramount importance for the full realization of the above resolutions. .
Therefore, today the United Nations General Assembly hereby declares the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the universally recognized criterion of achievement for all civilizations and countries. That every individual and every part of the society, keeping always in view of this declaration, will encourage the dignity of these rights and freedoms, freedoms through the medium of teaching and education and their universal and strong acceptance and compliance amongst themselves through development oriented national and international means. shall be established between the people of the Member States and the people of the territories under their jurisdiction.
To ensure this right of human beings and to protect and promote these rights, it has been discussed in detail in Part 3 of the Constitution. In 1993, taking a step forward in this field, the National Human Rights Commission was established in India. Let us understand it in detail.
Establishment of National Human Rights Commission
The National Human Rights Commission is a statutory body. Because it was formed under an act passed in the Parliament, which is named – ” Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 “. The Act was amended in 2006.
Section 2(1)(d) of the Act defines human rights as rights relating to life, liberty, equality and personal dignity and enshrined in the Indian Constitution, created in international treaties and imposed by Indian courts .
The formation of the National Human Rights Commission is in line with the Paris Principles which were adopted at the First International Workshop on National Institutions for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights held in Paris in October 1991. And it was endorsed as a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993.
Vision & Mission
This commission is a symbol or conductor of India’s concern for the protection and promotion of human rights.
The Commission is responsible for spreading awareness about human rights among the public and encouraging the efforts of all stakeholders in the field of human rights literacy, not only at the national level but also at the international level.
In addition to addressing complaints of violations of human rights or negligence in preventing such violations by any public servant, the commission also studies treaties and various instruments available internationally and recommends to the government for their effective implementation.
The NHRC is a unique institution as it is one of the few national human rights institutions in the world, headed by a former Chief Justice of the country.
The main objectives of setting up the commission are as follows:
1. To strengthen the institutional mechanisms by which human rights issues can be fully addressed.
2. To view violations of rights independently of the government in such a way as to focus the attention of the government on its commitment to protect human rights.
3. To complete and strengthen the efforts made in this direction.
Composition of National Human Rights Commission
The Commission is a multi-member body consisting of a Chairman and four members. The Commission should be headed by a retired Chief Justice of India. Apart from this, in the case of members, one member should be a serving or retired Judge of the Supreme Court, a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court and two other persons should have knowledge or work experience related to human rights.
In addition to these full-time members, there are four other ex-officio members in the Commission – National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Scheduled Tribes and Chairman of the National Commission for Women.
The chairman and members of the commission are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a six-member committee headed by the Prime Minister. The committee consists of the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Speaker of the Rajya Sabha, the leaders of the main opposition parties of both the Houses of Parliament and the Union Home Minister. In addition, on the advice of the Chief Justice of India, a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court may be appointed.
The term of the chairman and members of the commission is five years or 70 years (whichever is earlier). After his tenure, the chairman and members of the commission are not eligible for any post in the central government or state governments.
️| Under certain circumstances, the President can remove the Speaker and the members from their office at any time under the following circumstances:
1. If he becomes insolvent, or
2. If he, during his tenure, engages in any paid employment outside his jurisdiction, or
3. If he is physically or mentally unable to work, or
4. If he is of unsound mind and the competent court so declares, or
5. If he is convicted and convicted of any offense by the court.
In addition , the President can also remove the Speaker and any member from office on account of his misconduct or incapacity. However, in this situation, the President will refer the matter to the Supreme Court for investigation. If after inquiry the Supreme Court finds these allegations to be true, then on its advice the President can remove these members and the Speaker from their office.
The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of the chairman and members of the commission are determined by the central government, but after appointment, they cannot be changed to unfavourable.
The purpose of all the above provisions is to provide autonomy, independence and impartiality to the functioning of the Commission.
Functions of National Human Rights Commission
1. To investigate the violation of human rights or to investigate the request of human rights violation presented before a public servant (which he disregards), on his own motion or by order of the court.
2. Interfering in any human rights proceedings pending in court .
3. To review the constitutional and legal provisions made to protect human rights and to recommend measures for their effective implementation.
4. To review all the causes, including terrorism, which lead to violation of human rights and to recommend measures to prevent them.
5. To study and make recommendations for effective implementation of international treaties and documents relating to human rights.
6. To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights. Also to appreciate the efforts of non-governmental organizations working in the field of human rights.
7. To spread information about human rights among the people and to make them aware of the measures available to protect them. At the same time, to do such necessary works, which are necessary for the promotion of human rights.
8. Visiting any prison or any other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are imprisoned or confined for the purpose of treatment, correction or protection. And studying the living conditions of the residents there and making recommendations regarding them.
9. To spread human rights education among different sections of the society and to increase awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, media, seminars and other available means
10. To do such other work as may be considered necessary for the promotion of human rights.
Functioning of National Human Rights Commission
The head office of the Commission is located in Delhi though it can also open its offices at other places in India. The Commission has its own functions and is empowered to do so. The commission has all the powers and powers like a civil court and is also judicial in character. The Commission can call for any information or report from the Central or State Government.
The commission has its own investigative team to investigate complaints related to human rights violations. Apart from this, the Commission can take the services of any officer or investigating agency of the Central or State Governments. There is also an effective partnership between the Commission and NGOs which helps in getting information on prima facie human rights violations.
What types of complaints are not considered by the commission?
Generally complaints of the following nature are not entertained by the Commission:-
(a) More than one year has elapsed since the incident before the complaint was filed. That is, the commission can investigate only those cases which have happened less than one year after the incident.
(b) in respect of cases pending under any court
(c) which are vague, anonymous or pseudonymous or are of a petty nature
(d) those relating to service matters
How does the commission investigate complaints?
The Commission may call for information or report from the Central Government or any State Government or any other authority within the stipulated time, while inquiring into the complaints of human rights abuses; If the Commission does not receive the information or report within the stipulated time, the Commission may initiate an inquiry on the complaint itself;
On the other hand, if on receipt of information or report the Commission is satisfied that no further investigation is required or requisite action has been initiated by the concerned Government or authority, then the Commission cannot act on the complaint and inform the complainant accordingly.
What steps can the commission take after the inquiry?
The Commission may take any of the following steps during or after the inquiry:
1. It may recommend to the Government or authority concerned for the payment of compensation or damages to the aggrieved person or for providing immediate interim assistance.
2. It may recommend to the concerned government or authority to initiate proceedings for detention against the guilty public servant. Or, where the inquiry reveals a human rights violation, the Commission may recommend to the concerned Government or authority for prosecution or other action against the persons concerned.
3. The Commission may approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for necessary directions, orders or writs in this regard.
What are the powers given to the Commission in relation to the investigation?
While investigating complaints under the Act, the Commission has all the powers under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 which a civil court exercises at the time of trial of a suit. In particular the following are:
(a) summoning and presenting witnesses and examining them on oath
(b) finding and producing any document
(c) receiving evidence on affidavit
d) requisitioning any public record or in any court of law Or asking for their copy from the office
(e) issuing a government letter for the examination of witnesses or documents
(f) doing any other work as may be prescribed.
Investigation Team of National Human Rights Commission
The Commission has its own investigative staff headed by the Director General of Police to inquire into complaints of human rights abuses. The Commission is free to use the services of any officer or investigative agency of the Central or any State Government under the Act. The Commission has engaged NGOs in many cases for investigation work.
Autonomy of the National Human Rights Commission
Along with other things, the appointment of the chairman and members of the commission and the determination of their tenure have been given statutory guarantees. Along with this, it also includes the appointment and operation of its own investigation team. The financial autonomy of the Commission is described in section 32 of the Act.
Human Rights Amendment Act 2006
Parliament has passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act 2006. Under this, some major amendments were made in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which is related to the following subjects:
1. The number of members of State Human Rights Commissions was reduced from 5 to 3.
2. The eligibility conditions for the appointment of a member of the Human Rights Commission were changed.
3. Strengthening the research machinery available with the Human Rights Commissions.
4. The Commission was empowered by empowering it to recommend compensation even during the course of the inquiry.
5. The National Commission for Protection of Human Rights was empowered to visit the prisons without informing the State Government.
6. The process of recording the evidence of witnesses was strengthened.
7. To clarify that the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and the State Human Rights Commission hold a different position than the members of these two commissions.
8. Enabling the National Human Rights Commission to transfer the complaints received to it to the concerned State Human Rights Commission.
9. To make it clear that the absence of any member of the selection committee constituted for the selection of the chairman and member of the National Human Rights Commission or the State Human Rights Commission shall not affect the decisions of the selection committee.
10. To provide that the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes shall be members of the National Human Rights Commission.
11. To enable the Central Government to notify any future international pledges and conventions to which the Act applies.
Human rights day
Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on 10 December. On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). That is why this day is celebrated as Human Rights Day.
UNHCHR, that is, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights , is the world’s leading body representing human rights, for the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms set forth in the UDHR.
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The work of the commission is actually that of a recommender or advisor. The commission does not have the authority to punish the guilty of human rights violations, nor can the commission provide any kind of assistance, such as financial assistance, to the victim.
The recommendations of the commission are not binding on the concerned government or official but the action taken on its advice has to be reported to the commission within one month. So overall the role of the commission can be recommendatory or advisory, yet the government considers the matters given by the commission because the commission exercises its powers fully and no government can easily reject its recommendations. Thus, it would be meaningless to say that the commission is powerless.
However, the commission’s role, powers and jurisdiction are limited in cases of human rights violations committed by members of the armed forces. In this context, the Commission can give its advice after receiving a report from the Central Government. The Central Government will have to report, within three months, the action taken on the recommendation of the Commission.
The Commission sends its annual or special reports to the Central Government and the concerned State Governments. These reports are placed before the respective legislature. Along with this, its details are also mentioned, in which the action taken on the recommendations made by the commission and the reasons for not accepting any such recommendation are mentioned.
The world views India’s NHRC as a role model in promoting and monitoring effective implementation of the promotion and protection of human rights. The NHRC of India plays an active role in coordination with other human rights bodies in the world to raise awareness from a human rights perspective.
It has also hosted delegations of civil society, lawyers and political and social activists from several countries, along with UN bodies and other national human rights commissions.