NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu says, the Commission open to suggestions from civil society, NGOs and human rights defenders to ameliorate the cause of human rights (13.06.2019)

The NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice H. L. Dattu today said that the Commission is always open to the suggestions from the civil society, NGOs and human rights defenders towards fulfilling its mandate for the promotion and protection of human rights under the Protection of Human Rights Act. He was chairing a meeting of the Commission’s Core Group of NGOs and Human Rights Defenders, HRDs at Manav Adhikar Bhawan, New Delhi. He said that the Commission treats human rights defenders and the civil society as its eyes and ears, as the whole idea is how best to serve the cause of human rights. In this context, the Commission is also open to criticism for course correction, if any required.

Justice Dattu said that in its short journey of over 25 years since its inception in 1993, the NHRC, India has endeavoured to create an enabling environment for the realization of civil and political rights, as well as social and economic justice. However, despite its efforts to safeguard human rights, newer challenges continue to emerge, making it imperative for the Commission and other civil society actors to act expeditiously to devise measures to address these new challenges. The meeting discussed various dimensions of the protection of HRDs and the ways in which challenges faced by them across India could be addressed.

Earlier, Mr. Jaideep Govind, Secretary General, NHRC highlighted how the Commission has expanded its outreach through HRCnet portal and Common Service Centres across the country. He said that the Commission has also further improved its complaint management system.

The participants included NHRC Members. Mr. Justice P. C. Pant, Mrs. Jyotika Kalra and Dr. D.M. Mulay, D.G. (I), Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Registrar( Law), Mr. Surajit Dey, J.S.( P&T), Dr. Ranjit Singh and other senior officers, NHRC Core Group Members and human rights defenders and civil society representatives from leading NGOs in different parts of the country.

Several important suggestions emerged from the discussions, some of which are as follows:

Advise police not to summon those HRDs who file complaints of human rights violations of others;

Set a time frame for the disposal of the complaints of human rights violations of HRDs, especially those related to threat to their life;

Complaints of false implication should not be ordinarily disposed of by the Commission treating them as sub-judice;

NHRC should intervene for expeditious trial of court cases which involve HRDs;

Post NHRC investigations in a matter, the time taken in processing to dispose the case needs to be expedited;

Conduct research study to know the causes behind the continued violation of human rights of a particular category;

Develop a working definition of human role of the human rights defenders rights, which is easy to understand for all;

Initiate measures to stop motivated targeting of selected human rights defenders and their organizations through income tax notices;

Look into the notification for setting of foreigners’s tribunals and faulty mechanism of appeals against their orders;

Take a position on the issue of National Register of Citizens and detention centres.