Human Rights Commission
Human Rights commission can be approached for filing complaints against the violations of human rights in India. Human Right commission were setup under Protection of Human Rights Act, in 1993. This act defined the human rights as:
"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.
Under this act Human rights courts are to be formed which can perform trials of the cases.The act also requires that state and national level commission to be setup by the government. The Human rights commission can investigate actions of a public servant including Police and armed forces.
Functions of the Commission
The commission is supposed to perform an enquiry into the act of violation of human right. While performing an enquiry the commission will have the power of a civil court trying a suit under code of Civil procedure.
Section 12 of the Act requires the Human Rights commission to perform the following
- proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant
- visit any jail or other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection, for the study of the living conditions of the inmates and make recommendations
- review the safeguards provided by or under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation
- To Provide internships
- review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures
- study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation
- undertake and promote research in the field of human rights
- spread literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means
- encourage the efforts of NGOs and institutions working in the field of human rights.
- such other function as it may consider it necessary for the protection of human rights.
- take suo motu action, if required in a case if the victim is not in a position to access a court.
Actions taken by the commission
The commission may take the following steps during or after the inquiry:
- Recommend government or authority to pay the damages or compensation to the victim
- Initiate proceedings for prosecution
- Approach Supreme court or high court for any orders
- Recommend interim relief for the victim to State and Central government
- Publish and provide the victim a copy of its inquiry report which may contain directions or suggestion for the state or central government
However, the Human rights commission would not investigate cases:
- That are already being investigated by any other commission or court of law
- Where more than one year has passed by when the act of violation had happened
National Human Rights Commission
The official web-site for the National human rights commission is http://nhrc.nic.in/.
This web-site allows filing of a complaint online as well. The web-site also contains the forms and guidelines for submitting the complaint form.
State Human Rights Commission
Along with the National Human rights commission, each state is supposed to have a human rights commission.
The address and web-site for the State Human Rights Commission can be found on http://www.nhrc.nic.in/shrc.htm