NHRC concludes its three days Open Hearing and Camp Sitting at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (11.08.2017)
Lucknow, 11th August, 2017
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC concluded its three days 'Open Hearing and Camp Sitting' at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh after discussions with senior officers of the State Government today.
On the 9th August, 2017, in the 'Open Hearing' on the complaints of atrocities against the persons belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, the Commission took up 171 cases. These were heard in four benches by Members Mr. Justice P.C. Ghose, Mr. Justice D. Murugesan, Mr. S.C. Sinha and Ms. Jyotika Kalra.
42 cases were closed after consideration of reports. In six cases, the Commission issued notices to the Govt. of Uttar Pradesh on account of delay in registration of First Information Reports. In some cases, monetary relief of Rs. 2,47,500/- admissible under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (Protection of Atrocities) Act was paid after intervention by the Commission. In other cases, further reports or comments of the complainants on the reports sent by the Government authorities have been called for.
On the 10th August, 2017, in the Camp Sitting, the Full Commission took up 16 important cases. These included the cases of missing children, deaths in jail, delay in registration of FIRs, denial of treatment to mentally ill patients from Uttarakhand in the mental hospitals in Uttar Pradesh. During the sittings of the two Division Benches, 67 cases were considered. In five cases, monetary relief of Rs. 21 lakhs was recommended.
25 cases were closed on receipt of proof of payment of Rs. 93,00,000/- to the next of kin of deceased persons. In 15 cases, sanction of monetary relief amounting to Rs. 64,50,000/- was received. Seven of these cases were closed in the light of the assurance given by the Home Secretary for expeditious release of payment. In other cases, further reports have been called for.
After the disposal of the cases in the 'Open Hearing and Camp Sitting', the Commission held an interaction with the NGOs. They raised a gamut of issues of human rights violations concerning, among others, destitute/disabled women and children on roads, mentally sick persons on road, denial of admission to children on ground of disability, non-provision of medical examination to children below 18 years on account of access of guardians, victims of human trafficking being sent to jails as accused and not to Reform Homes, absence of psychiatrists/psychologists in various district hospitals, Death in sewage, non-payment of salary to manual scavengers and absence of scheme for compensation.
The representatives of the NGOs also invited attention of the Commission towards non issuance of ration cards, thefts in the food grain stocks issued under Public Distribution System, food stock issued under Integrated Child Development Scheme, ICDS not reaching the district. The issues of absence of doctors in the Public Health Centres, PHCs, non-availability of teachers in schools, teachers not attending classes and absence of toilet facilities for school children were also raised.
This meeting was followed by discussions with the Chief Secretary, DGP, DMs, SPs and other senior civil, police and jail officers of the State. During the discussions issues raised by the NGOs were also taken up. The Commission particularly expressed its concern over the delay in registration of FIRs, Non-registration of FIRs in cases involving atrocities on Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes in violation of section 4 of the Act. It was pointed out to the police officers that non registration of an FIR in a case involving sexual exploitation of a woman attracted section 166 A of IPC.
The Commission was equally concerned about the issues of arsenic poising in some districts of the State, death due to Japanese encephalitis, manual scavenging, speedy disposal of compensation in cases of electrocution deaths and denial of basic amenities including ration cards, houses, drinking water and electricity in certain blocks of Chandauli district inhabited by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The State Government assured the Commission that it would look into the issues pointed out by the Commission as well as the grievances raised by the NGOs to ensure better protection of human rights of its citizens.
Earlier, while inaugurating the three-day 'Open Hearing and Camp Sitting' on the 9th August, 2017, NHRC Member Mr. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and emphasized that human rights were not static in nature and a change in the mindset was required for amelioration of sufferings of people. Shri Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Uttar Pradesh said that humane and sensitive approach was needed while dealing with various issues and this context also referred to some of the measures initiated by the State Government. These included introduction of E-FIRs, Anti Bhoo-Mafia Task Force, Anti Romeo Squads, IDRS Monitoring System etc. The Director General of Police, Government of Uttar Pradesh was also present.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been holding 'Open Hearings and Camp Sittings' and in different States and Union Territories of the country in order to address the grievances of people speedily as the Commission is committed to safeguard the human rights of every individual. These also provide an opportunity to take up pending cases of respective states for hearing and disposal on the spot. The aggrieved persons, NGOs etc get a platform to express the problems being faced by the people on account of omissions/commissions on part of public authorities. Another objective of these 'Open Hearings and Camp Sittings' is to sensitize the public authorities about the issues involving human rights.