Toothless SHRC: Court Admits PIL, seeks Response from Authorities



Jammu and Kashmir High court Tuesday admitted a PIL alleging that due to official apathy, State Human Right Commission has been rendered functionless by the successive State Governments.

Chief justice Vasant Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi sought response from the government till September 15 while hearing a PIL alleging that SHRC in the state has been functionless from last 2 years and since 2011, no measures were taken to appoint any Chairman for the Commission.

Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Forum through its Secretary General MM Shuja in the PIL has expressed his discomfort and displeasure, the way complainants are being asked to approach the Commission once it becomes properly functional.

The petitioner through his Counsel Nadeem Gul, according to CNS, has alleged that Governments in succession have exhibited complete non seriousness in   constituting J & K State Human Rights Commission right from the date when Justice Syed Bashir Ud-Din laid down the robes of the office as chairperson of the commission. The non-seriousness of the respondent state  touched  the   ultimate  height  on June 28, 2014,   when  even  the  acting chairperson Rafiq   Fida    and    his   associate   member Amlok Singh relinquished their respective office upon completion of their tenure of office and till date the Commission has completely become non-functional as the respondent state has neither appointed any chairperson nor any member of the commission for the discharge of their constitutional and statutory functions.

The PIL maintains that more than two thousand cases are pending for disposal without any iota of progress from the last one year thus prolonging the agony of thousands of complainants.

The PIL further reads that the petitioner Forum in March 2015 had suggested to the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs to explore the possibility of designating the secretary of the commission as “Member Secretary” so that he would be able to at least complete the basic formalities of issuing process in the cases. On the contrary the respondent state amended the eligibility criteria and enhanced the age limit up to 75 years and tenure of office up to 5 years.

“General Public have been crying for protection of their basic Human Rights like electricity, water, eatables and above all the serious abuses of their basic rights at the hands of civil and police administration. The public at large have been deprived of a redressal forum of State Human Rights Protection commission.

The Division while admitting the PIL directed the government to file a response on the next date of hearing that has been listed on September 15.


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