State Human Rights Commission
A State Government may constitute a body known as the Human Rights Commission of that State to exercise the powers conferred upon, and to perform the functions assigned to, a State Commission.
Composition of State Human Rights Commission
A State Commission is to be composed of a chairman and some members appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Chief Minister, Home Minister, Speaker and Leader of the Opposition in State Assembly.
The chairman is to be a retired judge of the High Court; one of the members should be a serving or a retired District Judge in that state; one member is to be a serving judge or a retired judge of the High Court, two members are to be activists in the field of Human Rights. Besides the above members, the Commission has its own secretary as well.
The chairman or any other member is removable by the President on the charge of proved misbehavior or incapacity after a regular inquiry by a judge of the Supreme Court. They are removable on the grounds as provided for such removals of the members of NHRC as well.
These functions of the SHRCs are to:
- Inquire suo motu or on a petition presented to it, by a victim, or any person on his be into complaint of:
- Violation of human rights or abetment thereof;
- Negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant.
- Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights, per before a Court with the approval of such Court.
- Visit under intimation to the State Government, any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living conditions of the inmates and make recommendations thereon.
- Review the safeguards provided by or under the constitution of any law for the time being in force for 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.
- Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.
- Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the n seminars and other available means.
- Encourage the efforts of Non-Governmental organisations and institutions working in the field of human rights.
- Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.
Human Rights Courts
One of the objects of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 as stated in the preamble of the Act, is the establishment of human rights courts at district level. The creation of Human Rights Courts at the district level has a great potential to protect and realize human rights at the grassroots.
The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 provides for establishment Human Rights Courts for the purpose of providing speedy trial of offences arising out of violation of human rights. It provides that the state Government may, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification, specify for each district a Court of Sessions to be a Human Rights Court to try the said offences. The object of establishment of such Courts at district level is to ensure speedy disposal of cases relating to offences arising out of violation of human rights.
The Act refers to the offences arising out of violations of human rights. But it does not define or explain the meaning of “offences arising out of violations of human rights”.
The Act does not give any clear indication or clarifications as to what type of offences actually are to be tried by the Human Rights Courts.