Human rights are the basic rights which every citizen should avail his/her
rights in nation to live their life with dignity and freedom. Human right has
played a very significant role at global level in maintaining peace and allowing
every citizen to live their life with dignity. Human rights are the essential
part of the Indian democratic system. The government and citizens of India have
full faith in "The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
" and Indian Judicial
System. The government has setup various commissions at national, state and
lowest possible spot to achieve the target of this act.
Human Rights are those tiniest rights which every citizen must have against the
State or other public authority by virtue of his being a 'member of the human
family, irrespective of any other factor. The concept of human rights is as old
as the ancient doctrine of natural rights' founded on natural law, the
expression 'human rights 'is of recent origin, emerging from (post-Second World
War) international Charters and Conventions.
Inception of Human Rights
The Second World War had made humanity suffered a lot in that particular span of
time and as a result serious concern were taken which lead to sudden
development of Human Rights. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has
been implemented by the U.N General Assembly in 1948 and subsequently large
number of international human right instruments and covenants came into
- The U. N. Charter, 1945.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.
- International Covenants of 1966 i.e. Civil and Political Rights and
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- European convention for protection of Human Rights, 1953
The UN Charter contains various provisions for the promotion of human rights and
fundamental freedoms in the Preamble and in various Articles 1, 13(b), 55, 56,
62 (2), 68 &76(c).Apart from UN Charter there are four international instruments
created under the auspices of the United Nations known as International
Bill of Human Rights, which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1948, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights 1966, the
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
Humans Rights and Indian Constitution
India is largest federal democratic power in the world. Being a democratic
country one of the major responsibility is the protection of the basic rights of
its citizen. Constitution has given due consideration to the recognition and
protection of human rights in nation.
The Constitution of India recognizes these rights of the it's citizen and shows
deep concern towards them Part III of the constitution contains civil and
political rights, whereas economic, social and cultural rights have been
included in Part IV of the Constitution. All the statutes have to be in
concurrence of the provisions of the Constitution.
The Natural Rights transformed into fundamental rights operate as a
constitutional limitation or a restriction on the powers of the organs set up by
the Constitution or the State action. Judicial Review, Justifiability or
Enforcement became an inseparable ensue of fundamental rights. As no right of
freedom can be absolute, limitations have been imposed to each fundamental right
in the interest of securing social justice. Enforcement of fundamental rights
can even be suspended or prevented in emergency.
Directive Principles codified in Part IV of the Constitution summarize the
supreme goals of our whole freedom movement. The wisdom of the forefathers of
the Constitution was justified in incorporating non-justifiable human rights in
the concrete shape of the directive principles.
Role of Judiciary
Article 32 of Constitution of India guarantees right to constitutional remedies,
i.e. right to move to Supreme Court to enforce fundamental rights. It is
constitutional decree of judiciary to protect human rights of its citizens.
Supreme Court and High Courts are sanctioned to take action for enforcement of
these rights. Art. 32 and Art. 226 of the constitution. An aggrieved person can
directly approach the Supreme Court or High Court of that concerned state for
the protection of his/her fundamental rights, redress of grievances and
enjoyment of fundamental rights. In these situations ,Court are empowered to
issue appropriate order, directions and writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus,
Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo-Warranto and Certiorari.
Protection of Human RightsThe Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
The need for the protection of human rights issues both at national as well as
global level led to the enactment of an Act which specifically deals with the
protection of Human rights called ''The Protection of Human Rights Act,
1993''.The objective of the Act is to provided to protect human rights. The Act
provides for Human Rights Commission at national level as well as at State level
in each state and further for setup of Human Rights Courts at district level for
better protection of human rights and matters connected to it.
Human rights in Section 2(d) as "the 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."
The above definition limits the scope of the functioning of the National Human
Rights Commission. Therefore, the rights guaranteed in the Constitution are in
accordance with this International Conventions.
National Human Rights Commission
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was formed under the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993.
Section 3 of the Act provides for the composition of National Human Rights
Commission. NHRC is composed of a Chairperson and four other members.
order to provide representation to the backward and oppressed sections of the society,
besides these members, the chairmen of the National Commission for Minorities, the
National Commission for SCs, the National Commission for STs and the National
Commission for Women are given ex-officio membership of the Commission.
The functions of the National Human Rights Commission are provided under
Section 12, from the scrutiny of Section Commission performs various functions which
are as follow:
- Inquire into the cases of violation of human right Suo Moto, on petition
presented to him or on the direction of the Court.
- Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of
pending before a court with the approval of such court.
- Visit into 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 thereof and to
make recommendations thereon to the Government;
- Conduct a systematic review of the Government's human rights policy in
order todetect shortcomings in human rights observance and to suggest ways
of improvement. The National Human Rights Commission has been doing this
task by commenting on the draft legislation, drawing the attention of the Government
to the lacuna in the existing law and forming a human rights policy for the
nation according to the local needs.
- Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the
enjoyment of human
rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and
recommendations for their effective implementation.
- Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.
- Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and
awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through
publications, the media, seminars and other available means.
In Gujarat Communal Riot's Case, the commission took suo moto action on
communal riots, took place in Gujarat in early 2002; based on media reports. The
Commission also received an e-mail communication requesting the Commission to
intervene. A team of the Commission had visited Gujarat in March, 2002 and prepared a
confidential report, which was later published. The Commission observed that the
State has failed to discharge its primary and inescapable responsibility to protect the
rights to life, liberty, equality and dignity of all of those who constitute it.
State Human Rights Commission
Power to constitute commission at state level is conferred on the state government
under Section 21 (1) of the Act. The Commission is composed of chairperson and four
other members. The State Commission is empowered to perform similar functions,
which have been entrusted to the National Human Rights Commission. State
Commission inquires into violations of human rights only in respect of matters related
to any of the entries enumerated in List II and III in the Seventh Schedule of the
The study of treaties and other international instruments on human rights
have been excluded from the purview of State Human Rights Commission.
As regards the mechanism for the redress of human rights grievances in Union
Territories, the Minister of Human Affairs had taken the position that the best way of
proceeding may be through the extension of the jurisdiction of the State Commissions
of neighboring States into the adjoining Union Territories, as has been done in respect
of High Courts.
Human Rights Courts
State government set up these courts with concurrence of the Chief Justice of the
High Court, by notification specifying for each district a Court of Session to be a Human
Rights Court under Section 30. State Government appoints Special Public Prosecutor to
conduct cases in human rights court under Section 31 of the Act.
Human Rights Courts have been set up in the States of Assam, Andhra Pradesh,
Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. In August 2016 it has received 7822 fresh complaints and has disposed of 7772 fresh as well as old cases.
Role of NGOs
Besides the government organization there are non-government organizations which
play an important role in protection of human rights. NGOs are playing
remarkable role in the society. These organizations pickups the government's
deficits in service and help in protecting rights of the people. NGOs are non
profit making organizations ranging from small groups to international
organizations having branches all over the world. NGO is independent
organization of state and managed by group of private individuals and they draw
strength from the people who offer voluntary support to their causes. There are
several instances where NGOs were the first to report the violation of human
rights to the concerned authorities.
The National Human Rights Commission has taken action on several complaints,
mainly reports by local NGOs from different parts of the country. NGOs played
important role in implication of Laws. The exceptional role of NGOs in
furthering human rights is given recognition in the Protection of Human Rights
Act, 1993 not only this Act alone but also Vienna Declaration and Programme of
Action 1993 also recognized the role of NGOs in promotion of human rights. So,
from these things we can observe government plays important role in every
The Protection of Human Rights Act under Section 12 (i) expressly provided
the Commission to "encourage the efforts of non-governmental organizations
and institutions working in the field of human rights". This is a responsibility
which Commission readily assumes, for the cause has much to gain both from
practical help and from the constructive criticism that NGOs and the Commission
can bring to bear in their mutual interaction and growing relationship.
end the Commission has, from time to time, invited leading human rights
activists and NGO representatives for discussions and advice and sought their
help in practical ways. In addition, in every visit to a State, the Commission
has made it a point to benefit from experience and knowledge of NGOs, whose
contacts at the "grass-roots" level give strength and meaning to the human
rights movement where it matters most.
Human right is a basic right which is necessary for the development of humanity
in the absence of which person cannot live life with dignity and freedom.
Constitution of India protects the fundamental rights or human rights of the
people, provisions for the same have been made not only in the Articles of the
Constitution but Preamble also talks about the fundamental freedoms and
protection of the dignity of the citizens.
The Indian Judiciary follows the rule
of Locas Standi for the protection of human rights which boost the way for
the development of the concept of Public Interest Litigation. Courts protected
the rights of women, workers, children, prisoners in every possible legal way.
Thus, judiciary is playing a role of savior of the human rights of the citizens
. Protection of human rights is an important issue of concern throughout the
world various international instruments have been incorporated for the
protection of human rights and on the basis of the provisions of the
international instruments, national endeavors have been made such as enacting
the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993.
Provisions have been made under the Act
for the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as well as
State Human Rights Commission in various States as well as it also provide for
the constitution of Human Rights Courts at the district level so that the
justice can be provided to the victims of human rights violation at every
possible level. The establishment of the National Human Rights Commission it has
been playing a commendable task in protecting the human rights of the people and
it also help in financial way to the victims and to their families.
Although some amendments are necessary to be made in the Act and if it would
become possible to strengthen the position of the human rights commission and it
would be possible to achieve the objectives of the Act easily.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Vinayak Deo Pathak
- Dr. S. Subramanian, Human Rights International Challenges Vol.1 3 (Manas
Publication, New Delhi, 1997)
- S. K. Kapoor, International Law & Human Rights 800(Central Law Agency,
Allahabad, 17th edition 2009).
- Justice J.S. Verma, Second Justice M. Hidayatullah Memorial Lecture
"Protecting Human Rights through the Judicial Process" on 21 December 2002
at Raipur, 15, available at http://nhrc.nic.in/Documents/JHidyaMemo-II.pdf
- Arun Ray, National Human Rights Commission of India: Formation,
Functioning, and Future Prospects 518 (Khama Publisher, New Delhi, 2nd edn.,
- Case No. 1150\6\2001-2002, 6 March 2002 (Gujrat Riot Case)
- P. Sukumar Nair, Human Rights in a Changing World 35(Gyan Publishing
House, New Delhi, 2011).
- S.N. Chaudhary, Human Rights and Poverty in India: Theoretical Issues
and Empirical Evidences, Vol. 5, 216
- (Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 1st edn., 2005).
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