The National Human Right Commission

NHRC IN INDIA: AN INTRODUCTION

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is a Statutory public body constituted on 12 October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance of 28 September 1993. It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (PHRA).

The NHRC is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, defined by the Act as “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”.

FUNCTIONS OF NHRC

The Protection of Human Rights Act mandates the NHRC to perform the following:

  • Proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights by government of India or negligence of such violation by a public servant
  • The protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation
  • Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures
  • To study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation
  • To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights
  • To visit jails and study the condition of inmates
  • To engage in human rights education 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
  • To ncourage the efforts of NGOs and institutions congress to working in the field of human rights.
  • It considers the necessity for the protection of human rights.
  • Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
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COMPOSITION

The NHRC consists of:

  1. A Chairperson, who has been a Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court
  2. One member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India
  3. One member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court
  4. Three Members, out of which at least one shall be a woman to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights
  5. In addition, the Chairpersons of National Commissions viz. National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women , National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Backward Classes, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights; and
  6. The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities serve as ex officio members.
  7. The sitting Judge of the Supreme Court or sitting Chief Justice of any High Court can be appointed only after the consultation with the Chief Justice of Supreme Court.

Current Chairman and members:

The chairman of the NHRC is Justice H. L. Dattu 

Ex-officio members:

  • Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Castes
  • Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  • Syed Gayorul Hasan Rizvi, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities
  • Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, National Commission for Women
  • Chairperson, National Commission for Backward Classes
  • Chairperson National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
  • Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

Author: Ananya Pandey,
Law student 4th b.a.llb marathwada mitra mandal's shankarrao chavan law college

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