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Hyderabad: This article is about Human Rights Commission as part of the series that deals with Constitutional and Statutory bodies.

State Human Rights Commission:
SHRC is appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of 6 member committee comprising
i. Chief minister as the head of the committee
ii. Speaker of Assembly
iii. Leader of Opposition in Assembly
iv. State Home Minister
v. Chairman in State Legislative Council
vi. Leader of opposition in the State Legislative Council

Composition 4+1
The chairman and the members of State Commission are appointed by the Governor.
• The Chairman is to be a retired Chief Justice or Judge of the High Court;
• one of the members should be a serving or a retired District Judge in that state;
• one member is to be a serving Judge or a retired Judge of the High Court,
• two members are to be activists in the field of Human Rights.
Besides the above members, the Commission has its own secretary as well.
The governor must consult the CJ of state High Court before appointing the sitting judge of High Court.
Tenure – 3 years or 70 years of age.

Removal:-Same for the NHRC and SHRC. The President can remove the chair person or member of SHRC & NHRC on the following grounds.
• He engages during his term of office in any other employment outside the duties of his office.
• If he is adjudged insolvent
• If he is unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
• If he is of unsound mind and the same has been declared by the competent board
• If he is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.

Apart from the above mentioned grounds, the president can also remove a chairman or any member of incapacity and proved misbehaviour on the advice of the Supreme Court.

Section 2 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 defines “human rights” as “ the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed under the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India”.

Functions of the NHRC:
a) Inquire, on its own initiative (suo motto) or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf, into complaint of-
i) Violation of human rights or abetment or
ii) Negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant;
b) Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;
c) Visit, under intimation to the State Government, any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living condition of the inmates and make recommendations thereon;
d) Review the safeguards 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;
e) Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
f) Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation;
g) Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;
h) Spread human rights 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;
i) encourage the efforts of non – Governmental organizations and institutions working in the field of human rights;
j) Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.

To be continued

By Shikara Academy

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Author: Howard Caldwell