In this article, we will discuss the State Human Right Commission in a simple and easy way, and try to understand its various important aspects.
For better understanding, first read the National Human Rights Commission , because both have originated from the same Act and both have the same purpose.
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State Human Right Commission
Human rights mean those fundamental rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 and hence this day is celebrated as Human Rights Day.
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.
To ensure this right of human beings and to protect and promote these rights, the ” Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 ” was brought in India, under which the National Human Rights Commission and the State Human Rights Commission were appointed. was established.
Background of State Human Rights Commission
As we have just learned above, the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 provides for the establishment of Human Rights Commissions not only at the Center but also in the States. So far, 25 states of the country have established Human Rights Commissions through official gazette notification.
The State Human Rights Commission can investigate the violation of human rights only in those cases which come under the State List and Concurrent List of the Constitution. But if any such case is already being investigated by the National Human Rights Commission or any other statutory body, then the State Human Rights Commission cannot inquire into such cases.
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Composition of State Human Rights Commission
The State Human Rights Commission is a multi-member body like the Central Commission, but where the Central Commission consists of 11 other members besides the Chairman, in the case of a State, there is a Chairman and two other members.
The chairman of this commission is the retired Chief Justice of the High Court and the member is a retired or serving Judge of the High Court.
Any Judge of the District Court of the State who has seven years experience or any person having special experience in human rights can also become a member of this commission.
The chairman and other members of this commission are appointed by the governor on the recommendation of a committee. The chief minister of the state is the head of this committee, besides the speaker of the state assembly, the home minister of the state and the leader of the opposition in the state assembly as other members. If the state also has a Legislative Council, then the Chairman of the Legislative Council and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council are also members of this committee.
A working Judge of the High Court or a working Judge of the District Court is appointed as a member to the State Human Rights Commission after consultation with the Chief Justice of the State High Court.
The term of the chairman and other members of the commission is five years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. After the completion of the term of the Commission, the Chairman and other members can neither hold any government office under the Central Government nor the State Government.
After being elected, the Chairman and other members of the State Human Rights Commission are appointed by the Governor, but the Governor cannot remove them from their posts. Only the President can remove the Chairman and other members of the Human Rights Commission. The procedure for removal is exactly the same as for the removal of the chairman and other members of the National Human Rights Commission. ie that –
– if he has become insolvent;
– If he has held any Government office of profit during his tenure in the Commission;
– if he has become mentally or physically unfit for the discharge of his duties;
– If he is of unsound mind and has been disqualified by the Court of Session; and,
– if he has been convicted in respect of any offense and has been sentenced to imprisonment.
In addition, the President can also remove the Chairman and other members of the Commission on the ground of proven misconduct or incapacity. But in these cases, the President has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for investigation and if the Supreme Court finds the matter to be correct after the inquiry, he advises the President, after that the President gives advice to the Speaker and other members. removed from office.
The State Government decides the salary, allowances and other service conditions of the Chairman and other members of the State Human Rights Commission. But during his tenure no unfavorable change can be made in it.
Functions of State Human Rights Commission
1. To inquire into the violation of human rights or to investigate, suo motu or by order of the court, a human rights violation petition presented before a public servant of which he is not prepared to take cognizance.
2. Interfering in any human rights proceedings pending in court.
3. To study the situation in jails and prisons and make recommendations in this regard.
4. To review the constitutional and legal provisions made to protect human rights and to recommend measures for their effective implementation.
5. To review all the causes, including terrorism, which lead to violation of human rights and to recommend measures to prevent them.
6. To study international treaties and documents related to human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation.
7. To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights. Also, to encourage the efforts of non-governmental organizations working in the field of human rights.
8. 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.
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 the Commission
Its functioning is similar to that of the National Human Rights Commission. The Commission has been given wide powers to discharge its functions.
While investigating complaints, the State Human Rights 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. such as :-
(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 etc.
It can direct the State Government or any other subordinate authority to hear any matter. But it is important to remember here that, the State Human Rights Commission cannot hear a case which is related to the violation of human rights and the case has elapsed for more than one year.
In other words, the Commission can only hear cases within a period of one year.
The Commission may, during or after inquiry into any matter, take the following steps;
It can recommend to the concerned government or authority for payment of compensation or damages to the aggrieved person.
At the same time, it can also recommend to the concerned government or authority to provide immediate interim assistance to the victim.
It can recommend to the concerned government or authority to initiate proceedings for detention against the guilty public servant.
The Commission can approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for necessary directions, orders or writ in this regard.
The commission forwards its annual report to the state government. This report is laid on the table of the state legislature and it is told what steps have been taken by the state government in relation to the recommendations given by the commission. If any advice of the commission has not been accepted by the state government, then it is also necessary to give a reasoned answer to the government.
Human Rights Court
The Human Rights Protection Act of 1993 provides that a Human Rights Court will be established in every district of the country for speedy investigation of cases of violation of human rights. Such a Court can be established by the State Government only on the advice of the Chief Justice of the High Court of the State.
In every Human Rights Court, the State Government may appoint a Special Public Prosecutor or may appoint a lawyer as a Special Public Prosecutor who has experience of at least seven years of practice.
The recommendations of the commission are not binding on the concerned government or officer but the action taken on its advice is to be informed to the commission within one month. So overall, the role of the commission is that of the recommender or advisor, yet the government considers the matters given by the commission because the commission exercises its powers fully and makes the right recommendations so that any government Thus, it would not be at all fair to say that the Commission is powerless.