National Human Rights Commission

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is an autonomous 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 (TPHRA).

The NHRC is the national human rights institution, 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”.

Functions:

TPHRA mandates the NHRC to perform the following functions:

-proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant

-by leave of the court, to intervene in court proceeding relating to human rights

-to 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

-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

-undertake and promote research in the field of human rights

-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

-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.

Composition

The NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) consists of:

-A Chairperson, retired Chief Justice of India
-One Member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India
-One Member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court
-Two Members to be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights
-In addition, the Chairpersons of four National Commissions of ( 1.Minorities 2.SC and ST 3.Women) serve as ex officio members.

State Human Rights Commission:

A State Government may constitute a body known as the Human Rights Commission of that State to exercise the powers conferred upon, and to perform the functions assigned to, a State Commission. At present, 23 states have constituted SHRC.

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