National Human Rights Commission of India
|National Human Rights Commission|
राष्ट्रीय मानवाधिकार आयोग
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is an autonomous public body constituted on 12 October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance of 28 September 1993. It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (TPHRA). The NHRC is the national human rights institution, responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, defined by the Act as "rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants".
“Human Rights” means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the constitution or embodied in the International covenants and enforceable by courts in India. “Commission” means the National Human Rights Commission constituted under section of All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights known as Human rights, as commonly understood, are the rights that every human being is entitled to enjoy freely irrespective of his religion, race, caste, sex and nationality, etc. (Jagdish chand, 2007) In Declaration of Independence acknowledged the fundamental human rights. Human right means different thing to different people. Human Rights are not static. New rights are recognized and enforced from time to time. Only persons fully conversant with the latest development about the expanding horizons of Human Rights can promote their awareness better than others.
TPHRA mandates the NHRC to perform the following functions:
The NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) consists of:
The current (acting) chairperson of the NHRC is Justice Cyriac Joseph and the other members are:
Sections 3 and 4 of TPHRA lay down the rules for appointment to the NHRC. The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:
The NHRC has been accredited with "A status" by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (the ICC), indicating that it is in conformity with the Paris Principles – a broad set of principles agreed upon by a conference of experts on the promotion and protection of human rights, in Paris in October 1991, and subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly. The Commission is thus entitled to participate in the ICC and in its regional sub-group, the Asia Pacific Forum, and may take part in certain sessions of the UN human rights committees.
A report concerning the manner of which the Shivani Bhatnagar murder controversy case was rejected, a case which involved high-ranking officials being implicated in the murder of a journalist, opened the organisation up to questioning over the usefulness of human rights commissions set up by the government at the national and state levels.
In mid-2011, the chairman of the NHRC, ex-Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan came under a cloud for allegedly owning assets disproportionate to his income. His son-in-law P. V. Srinijan, an Indian National Congress politician, had to resign for suddenly coming into possession of land worth Rs. 25 lakhs. Many prominent jurists, including former CJ J. S. Verma, SC ex-Judge V. R. Krishna Iyer, noted jurist Fali S. Nariman, former NHRC member Sudarshan Agrawal and prominent activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, have called on Balakrishnan's resignation pending from the HRC pending inquiry. As of February 2012, Justice Balakrishnan had not resigned, and the Supreme Court inquired of the government re: the status of the inquiry.
NHRC held that 16 out of 19 police encounters with suspected maoists in Guntur and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh, prior to 2002 were fake and recommended to Government payment of compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the families.