Human Rights Commission in India


Human Rights Commission (National or States) in India is governed under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

The Central Government of India has constituted a body known as the National Human Rights Commission under the said act (established on 12 October 1993), currently situated at New Delhi. 

Address: 
National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi, PIN 110001. Tel.No. 23384012 Fax No. 23384863 E-Mail: covdnhrc@nic.in, ionhrc@nic.in.

Constituents of the National Human Rights Commission:  

The National Commission consists of
  1. 1 Chairperson - who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 
  2. 1 Member - who is or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court; 
  3. 1 Member - who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court; 
  4. 2 Members to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.

Deemed Members of the Commission 

The following authorities are considered as the deemed members of the commission.
  1. Chairpersons of the National Commission for Minorities
  2. National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, 
  3. National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes, and 
  4. National Commission for Women.
Secretary-General / CEO of the Commission

An officer of the rank of the Secretary to the Government of India shall be the Secretary-General of the Commission and also be the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission.

He exercises such powers and discharges such functions of the Commission (except judicial functions and the power to make regulations under section 40 B), as may be delegated to him by the Commission or the Chairperson as the case may be.

Other staffs
 
Such police and investigative staff under an officer not below the rank of a Director General of Police and such other officers and staff as may be necessary for the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission.

The Commission may also appoint such other administrative, technical and scientific staff as it may consider necessary.

STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

A State Government may also constitute a body to be known as the ....................... (name of the State) Human Rights Commission to exercise the powers conferred upon, and to perform the functions assigned to a State Commission. 

The headquarters of the State Commission shall be at such place as the State Government may, by notification, specify.

Constituents of the State Human Rights Commission: 

The State Commission of a State consists of — 
  1. 1 Chairperson - who has been a Chief Justice of a High Court;
  2. 1 Member - who is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court or District Judge in the State with a min. 7years experience as District Judge;
  3. 1 Member to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.
Secretary-General / CEO of the Commission
An officer of the rank of the Secretary to the State Government, shall be the Secretary-General of the State Commission and also be the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission.

He exercises such powers and discharges such functions of the State Commission as it may delegate to him.

Other staffs

Such police and investigative staff under an officer not below the rank of an Inspector General of Police and such other officers and staff as may be necessary for the efficient performance of the functions of the State Commission.

The State Commission may appoint such other administrative, technical and scientific staff as it may consider necessary.

Common Chairperson or Member of a State Commission
Two or more State Governments may appoint a Common Chairperson or Member of a State Commission, with their consents, to act under simultaneously for such statessubject to prior recommendations of the Committee referred to in sub-section(1) of section 22 of the Act.

Similar Nature of Functions of the Commissions:
  1. Inquire into violations of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant. Commission can do it either suo motu or on a petition presented to it;
  2. Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;
  3. Review the safeguards for the protection of human rights and make recommendation.
  4. Make recommendations on human rights after studying treaties and other international instruments
  5. Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights
  6. Spread human rights literacy, promote awareness of safeguards available for protection of these rights.
  7. Encouraging NGOs & institutions working for human rights.
  8. Such other function for the protection of human rights.
The commission can carry out investigation into human rights violation matter, on its own or combinedly with any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government with their concurrence.

State Commissions can inquire into violation of human rights only for the matters related to entries given in List II and List lll of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.

Audit of Commission’s Accounts: 
The Accounts of the Commissions i.e. National Commission and State Commissions are being audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG).