As per the data shared by the government, 44% of all the cases registered with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) are from Uttar Pradesh. 46% of the cases where the NHRC recommended compensation are still pending.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recently found 16 women as victims of rape, sexual and physical assault by police personnel in Chhattisgarh and asked the State Government why it should not recommend interim relief of Rs. 37 lakh to the victims. While this a welcome step, 46% of the cases recommended by NHRC for monetary relief are still pending since 2013-14 as per the information shared recently by the government in the Lok Sabha. The pendency of such large number of orders only highlights the scant regard of the governments for institutions like the NHRC.
What is NHRC?
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was established to look into cases of Human Rights violation across the country. Primarily, the NHRC enquires into allegations of human rights violations as per provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. While registering cases, the Commission classifies complaints of human rights violation under various heads including police excesses, encounter deaths and complaints about alleged death in fake encounters.
In cases, where the allegations are substantiated, and the concerned authorities have not taken appropriate action in the matter, the Commission makes recommendations that broadly include appropriate action to protect human rights, grant of monetary relief to the victims or the next of the kin of the deceased victim, and/or departmental/disciplinary action or prosecution against the guilty public servant.
44% of the cases from Uttar Pradesh alone
The number of cases of human rights violations registered with NHRC is on the rise. From 97911 cases in 2013-14, the number of registered cases has gone up to 117428 in 2015-16. The pendency in the NHRC has also increased from 5463 in 2013-14 to 11066 in 2015-16.
Of all the cases registered with the NHRC, 44% of the cases were from Uttar Pradesh alone between 2013-14 and 2015-16. Second in the list was Haryana with less than 25% of the cases compared to Uttar Pradesh. Five states accounted for more than 10000 cases each out of the cases registered during this period. Only 48 cases were registered from Sikkim during this period, the lowest for any state. Of the bigger states, less than 1000 cases were registered from Jammu & Kashmir, less than 3000 cases from Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Assam and Kerala.
46% of the cases recommended for compensation by NHRC are still pending
The NHRC has recommended monetary relief (compensation) in a total of 1292 cases from 2013-14 to 2016-17 (up to 30th June). The total monetary relief granted was Rs 33.59 crore. The number of cases recommended by NHRC for compensation and the total amount has come down continuously.
Out of the 1292 cases recommended by NHRC for compensation, 699 are disposed and 593 are still pending. More than 100 such cases from 2013-14 are still pending. As with the number of registered cases, close to 1/3rd of the cases recommended for compensation were from Uttar Pradesh alone. More than 50% of such cases are pending in nine states. All such cases are pending in Arunachal Pradesh while 2/3rd are pending in Mizoram. 61% of such cases are pending in Maharashtra. Of the bigger states, only 22% such cases are pending in Chhattisgarh.
Close to half the cases recommended for disciplinary action are from Uttar Pradesh
Between 2013 and 2016, disciplinary action was recommended in 107 cases out of which 49 are from Uttar Pradesh alone. Madhya Pradesh was second in the list with 7 such cases. Disciplinary action was recommended in only one case from eight different states. The sole case where prosecution was recommended was also from Uttar Pradesh.
The government has on multiple occasions reiterated its commitment for protection & promotion of human rights. But it means nothing unless the state governments concerned implement the recommendations of the NHRC.