POLITY National Human Rights Commission
GS PAPER II: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to Local Levels and Challenges Therein.
Context: President formally appointed Justice Arun Kumar Mishra as the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
About National Human Rights Commission:
- It is a Statutory 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 (PHRA).
- The NHRC is the National Human Rights Commission of India, 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 and enforceable by courts in India".
Functions of NHRC
The Protection of Human Rights Act mandates the NHRC to perform the following:
- Proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights by government of India or negligence of such violation by a public servant
- 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
- to visit jails and study the condition of inmates
- 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 congress to working in the field of human rights.
- it considers the necessity for the protection of human rights.
- requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
The NHRC consists of: The Chairman and Five members (excluding the ex-officio members)
- A Chairperson, who has been a Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.
- One member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India , or, One member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court.
- Three Members, out of which at least one shall be a woman to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.
- In addition, the Chairpersons of National Commissions viz., National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women , National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Backward Classes, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights; and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities serve as ex officio members.
- The sitting Judge of the Supreme Court or sitting Chief Justice of any High Court can be appointed only after the consultation with the Chief Justice of Supreme Court.