Even after 16 years after the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Human Protection of Human Rights Act 1997, two sub- offices of the State Human Rights Commission are yet to be establish.
The information was revealed after an RTI application was filed by a social activist Raman Sharma. Earlier in his RTI application dated November 15, 2013, Sharma had asked information on 7 points where he has asked the commission stating “As per section 3(5) of The Jammu And Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act, I997, there should be sub-offices of the commission at Jammu, Doda and Rajouri . Kindly intimate the postal address of the sub-offices the JKSHRC at Rajouri and Doda and If there is no sub-office of the JKSHRC at Doda and Rajouri, what steps have been taken by the commission in this regard to establish sub-offices at these two places and also provide copy of all the communication letters sent by the JKSHRC to the government for establishing these sub-offices at Doda and Rajouri.”
While replying to the query of the applicant, the commission in its reply has stated that the commission has established its sub-office near New Rehari, Jammu and the sub-offices at Rajouri and Doda are yet to be established however establishment of sub-offices at Jammu has facilitated the complainants of far flung areas of Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Rajouri, Kathua and Udhampur.
As per a statement the activist has said that “the commission has also failed to provide copy of any document to substantiate the fact that it had ever requested the government to establish its sub-offices. On the question of sanctioned and presented posted staff at the SHRC, it has been admitted by the commission that there are 15 vacancies and the total sanctioned strength of the staff members is 88 posts including Police Investigation wing.”
As per the official details with Kashmir Life, the commission has so far received 6803 cases since its inception and has decided/disposed 5159 cases till November 30, 2013.
Expressing his resentment for not establishing sub-offices even after 16 years of the enactment of the law, Sharma has called it a “criminal negligence and violation of section 3(5) of the State Human Right Act.”
He further adds that as per the HR act, there must be 5 members of the State Human Rights Panel but presently there are only 2 members heading the commission.