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Human Rights Commissions are the hub of post-retirement posts for retired Judges; SC

Withering on Human Rights Commissions ,the Supreme Court  today observed that the Human Rights panel in Centre or States  are  merely becoming  the hub of post-retirement posts for retired judges. According to the court, these panels neither have penal enforcement power nor theyare able to protect rights of the people.

This statement came after Abhishek Manu Singhvi,  senior advocate and Amicus Curiae, in a PIL involving inspection on increasing custodial death cases, submitted a report stating that 15, 232 custodial deaths  were reported in India since 2007  which demand the active intervention of human right commissions  and suggested that the human rights panels should be given more powers.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur observed  “by holding a post in human right commission, the retired judges gets a home, an office and a car but when it comes to services of human rights, what do they have? Many states do not even have a commission, and where there are commissions, they do not have staff, prosecutors & stenographers.”

The Court asked  “overall what purpose do they serve”?,  to which Singhvi replied that such commissions are ineffective as they lack enforcementpower.

Singhvi wants the implementation of series of guidelines to stop custodial death cases, according to him, “Despite repeated judgments and directives passed by the court, laying down various guidelines for prevention of custodial violence and custodial deaths, the implementation by the various states appears to be extremely lax, resulting in a steady stream of cases of gross custodial violence,” (Daily Mail reports)

He also mentioned that despite of having the second highest number of human rights cases (7988 in 2012), being reported in Delhi, it does not have its own human rights commission. Not only Delhi, the north eastern  states  such as Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland – all disturbed states are  grappling with insurgency, foreign immigration, tribal warfare and ethnic violence – do  not have human rights commissions.

 He also pointed out that the State of U.P which reports the  highest number of cases (46,187), the State Humanright Commission is ineffective..

He suggested for the installation of CCTV cameras in police stations, automatic suspension and departmental proceedings against errant cops, and a directive to lower courts to adopt a “zero tolerance” approach in complaints of custodial excesses.

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  • bangaluru shivashankaran manjunath says:

    We need human rights commissions, it is an apparent need. About its working, well it is the same as all institution. It reminds of analogy. A person sitting behind observed that person sitting in front has white hairs, which is visible at the backside of the scalp. The person sitting in the front replied every person sitting behind will be able to see the white hairs of the person sitting in front. This goes on.

  • Kolla Gangadhar says:

    The Protection of Human Rights act, 1993 was enacted by the Indian Parliament as an Act to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commissions in States and Human Rights Court for better protection of Human Rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Statement of objects and reasons. India is a arty to the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December, 1966. Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 of United Nations. Section 3 of The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 Constitution of Human Rights Commission. Appointment of Chairperson, Members. Unless Act, is amended siting Judge of Supreme Court can not be appointed as Chairperson. An advocate having 10 years Practice of High Court of High courts must be considered for appointment as members and I request the Parliament of India to amend the The Protection of Human rights Act, 1993.Since 1997 T. Bhoj Raj Yadav, ( Police Inspector) of Andhra Pradesh have been granted Enormous powers by N. Chandra Babu Naidu, The Chief Minister,have been Destroying India, Indians, Indian Constitutional Institutions,Human Rights of the People and National Human Rights Commission, Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission have failed to Protect Human Rights of the People of India for that I request the Chairperson, Members to take up suo moto violation of Human Rights by T. Bhoj Raj yadav and his gang and order for investigation. Otherwise constitution of Human Rights Commissions will be fruitless. Kolla Gangadhar, Advocate, the President, Democratic Lawyers Forum, India.

  • Dear Sir/Madam,

    May I get a soft copy of the order of the Supreme Court at my email address at

  • Sankara Menon says:

    Get younger active people to these posts and stop employing retired judges except as honorary advisors. THAT will create scope for other competents. There are johnnies wearing 2-3 hats. Its a shame