“There is a higher court than the court of justice and that is the court of consciousness. It supersedes all other courts” –Mahatma Gandhi
Human Rights are one of the most important rights guaranteed by The Constitution of India and the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993. The concept of human rights originated from the “Natural law Jurisprudence” which is the law of the conscience or the law made by god. With the increase in human rights violations, many declarations were made beginning from Magna Carta 1215, the American and French bill of rights to the UN Charter, and the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993.
What are Human Rights?
According to section 2(1)(d) of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 “Human Rights” means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality, and the dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
So, if any of these rights relating to life, liberty, equality, and dignity are violated one can go to the State or the National Human Rights Commission to file complaints.
Cases involving the violation of Human Rights:
The most human rights violations are when there is direct involvement of people. There are 3 departments where the complaints regarding the violation of human rights are the most:
1. Police Department
2. Medical Department
3. Revenue Department
The most number of complaints are against the police personnel and the number of complaints reduces when we move to the higher ranks. The complaints are regarding wrongful detention, custodial death, not filing FIR, not providing medical facilities to the prisoners etc.
Functions and powers of the commission:
1. shall take suo motto cognizance of any issue involving a violation of human rights.
2. can also intervene in matters related to human rights pending before the court.
3. encourage the work of NGOs working for human rights
4. can review the safeguards of the constitution and can provide appropriate remedies.
5. can promote research in the field of human rights.
When you go to a commission to file a complaint regarding human rights violation no fees is required as in the case of courts. Also, there is speedy trial of cases in commission whereas there is a lot of wastage of time in courts due to the already pending cases.
Limitations of the commission
1. The commission does not accept complaints on issues for which the matter has occurred one year ago.
2. It can only give recommendations to the government and cannot direct it.
Online Complaint at Human Rights Commission
To file an online complaint at a state human rights commission you just need to visit the website of that particular state commission, click for the online complaint form which comprises of simple details to be filled –
1. Applicant’s name and number
4. Applicant\’s address
5. Subject and description of the case
You can also upload the relevant document on the website.
Complaint at Human Rights Commission through the post
The other way through which one can file a complaint in a human rights commission is through the post. The victim or someone on his/her behalf can address the complaint to the Chairperson, members or the concerned officers mentioning all the details of the subject matter with the signature. The application should consist of the postal address of the complainant for proper communication.
The next step is the investigation
After the complaint is filed the commission carries on the investigation to check the facts of the case and seeks a report from the concerned government department or organization. The commission sets a time for the report to be prepared and received by the commission. If the report is not received within the stipulated time then the commission starts an investigation on its own.
Keywords: Human Rights, State Human Rights Commission, Violation of human rights, filling an application.
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