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                       HUMAN RIGHTS
                                                                                News Letter
Vol.15 No. 27
Vol.16 No.                                            July 2009                                  Published by National Human Rights Commission
                                                                                                 Published by National Human Rights Commission

National Seminar on "Right to Information, Human Rights: The Present Scenario"

T         ransparency in governance
         is a pre requisite to the
         protection of human rights.
Right to Information Act passed by
Parliament in 2005 has evolved as an
                                                   of complaints of human rights
                                                   violations are received against
                                                   public authorities who are supposed
                                                   to be the protectors of their rights.
                                                   Justice Lahoti added that discussions
                                                                                                     underscored the need to provide
                                                                                                     knowledge to the people about
                                                                                                     their rights and process involved in
                                                                                                     seeking enforcement thereof, in
                                                                                                     common man's language and
important tool to bring more                       on principles and laws alone would                mentioned that the Commission has
transparency in the functioning of                 not achieve the goal of protecting                brought out several publications on
Government and public bodies. In                   human rights unless the people in                 human rights related issues in Hindi.
this backdrop the Commission                       the system of governance are
                                                                                                       Eleven Hindi writers were awarded
organized a two day National                       sensitive towards them..
                                                                                                     on the occasion for their creative
Seminar on "Right to Information,                     Chairing the Session, NHRC                     writings or translation of books in
Human Rights: The Present                          Member, Mr. Justice G.P. Mathur                   Hindi on human rights related issues
Scenario" on 21st and 22nd May,                    said that the Commission is                       during 2006-2007.
2009. Addressing the inaugural                     committed to bring awareness about
session, the Chief Guest and former                human r ights and g ives                            Secretary General NHRC, Mr.
Chief Justice of India, Mr. Justice                encouragement to the writings on                  A.K. Jain informed that this year
R.C. Lahoti appreciated NHRC's                     these issues. He said that despite                the Commission has decided to
commitment to the promotion and                    India making a late beginning in the              enlarge the scope of the scheme by
protection of human rights and said                enactment of the Right to                         introducing awards for creative
that it was also in tune with the                  Information, it had given a strong                writing and translation of books on
United Nations' initiatives in this                and effective tool into the hands of              human rights issues in all Indian
direction. It was, however, ironical               common man to ensure good                         languages included in the Eighth
that in a democracy, large numbers                 g ove r n a n c e. Ju s t i c e M a t h u r       Schedule of the Constitution and
                                                                                                     English. The Commission started
                                                                                                     the scheme of honouring writers
                                                                                                     for their creative writing or
                                                                                                     translation of books in Hindi on
                                                                                                     human rights related issues in the
                                                                                                       Several prominent per sons
                                                                                                     including Senior Journalist, Mr.
                                                                                                     Prabhash Joshi, Professor Namvar
                                                                                                     Singh, Jyananpeeth Awardee writer,
                                                                                                     Mr. Kunwar Narayan, Members and
                                                                                                     officers of the Commission addressed
                                                                                                     different sessions which included two
                                                                                                     Academic Sessions focusing on the
                                                                                                     genesis of the Right to Information
       Chief Guest and Former Chief Justice of India, Mr. Justice R.C Lahoti, NHRC Members and       Act in the country and the people's
                           Secretary General with award winning writers                              movement for this right.


Authorities in Meerut asked to remove illegal furnaces and stop animal slaughter on Corporation land
    The National Human Rights            remove the furnaces which were             officers were asked to submit
Commission on 3rd June summoned          being used for extraction of fat from      an action taken report by 23rd
the District Magistrate and the          the animal bones within 15 days and        June, 2009. They assured compliance
Municipal Commissioner, Meerut,          stop illegal abattoirs from operating      with the Commission's
Uttar Pradesh and asked them to          on Corporation land. Both the              recommendations.
                                          Suo Motu Cognizance
Death of two workers while               04.06.2009 that while cleaning a           to the Chief Secretary, Government
cleaning sewer in Delhi                  sewer in the Maurice Nagar area of         of NCT of Delhi calling for a factual
                                         North Delhi, two workers Rajesh, 43        report. It is mandatory that workers
   The Commission took suo motu          years and Brahm Prakash, 35 years          are provided with safety kits while
cognizance of media reports on           died.The Commission issued a notice        cleaning sewers.

                                         Other Interventions

T         he Full Commission during
          the nine sittings in the
          Month of June, 2009 took
up 95 cases for consideration and
recommended monetary relief where
                                          interrogation and he was denied
                                          medical treatment for the injuries
                                          which led to his death. The
                                          Commission recommended that the
                                          Andhra Pradesh Government give
                                                                                        Ram Kumar, an accused died in
                                                                                    Po l i c e S t a t i o n , Pa l i g a n j o n
                                                                                    19.11.2003 in Korba District,
                                                                                    Chhattisgarh. The Commission on
                                                                                    consideration of the magisterial
it found the public authorities           monetary relief of two lakh rupees to     enquiry report found that the police
negligent in protecting the human         the next of kin.                          personnel did not provide proper
rights. Its decisions in some of these       Three lakh rupees monetary             medical treatment to Ram Kumar
case were as follows:-                    relief in a case of fake encounter        and recommended monetary relief of
    Two lakh rupees monetary                   Case No. 14221/24/04-05              one lakh rupees to his family.
relief in a case of death in police          The Commission found that               One lakh rupees monetary relief
                custody                   Riyasat Ali was killed in a fake police       in a case of death in police
       Case No.819/1/04-05                encounter on 15.07.2004 in District                        custody
   T. K . E s wa r a i a h d i e d o n    Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh and                       Case No.38/1/06-07
28.01.2005 in police custody at Police    recommended that the Uttar Pradesh          Anand Kumar died in police
Station, Itikalapalli, Andhra Pradesh.    Government give monetary relief of        custody on 27.04.2006.                   The
He had seven ante-mortem injuries         three lakh rupees to the next of kin.     contention of the police was that he
and died due to coronar y                 One lakh rupees monetary relief           escaped police custody and died due to
insufficiency.     The Commission             in a case of death in police
found that there were no proper                                                     drowning in Hussain Sagar Lake,
                                                         custody                    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh where he
entries in police record for calling             Case No.286/33/03-04
Eswaraiah to the Police Station for                                                                    (Remaining on page 4)
                         Release of bonded labourers in District Baghpat, U.P.

 A      cting on two complaints
        about bonded labourers
        working in brick kiln
companies in District Baghpat,
Uttar Pradesh, a spot investigation
                                          Ghaziabad by the owner. The
                                          complainants Mohammad and
                                          Masoom were traced. They said
                                          that they wanted to go back to
                                          their native places along with their
                                                                                        In connection with the second
                                                                                    complaint, the spot inquir y
                                                                                    revealed that 28 out of 39 alleged
                                                                                    bonded labourers in M/s Abhishek
                                                                                    Brick Field, Sujra Road, District
team of the Commission, along             families. Six adults, an adolescent       Bhagpat, Uttar Pradesh had already
with District Labour Officer,             and four children were released on        left the kiln on their own. The
S.D.M. Khekhra and S.D.M.                 20/05/2009 and sent home with             remaining five adults and six
Baghpat, conducted an inquiry. It         the help of district authorities. An      adolescents claimed that they had
was found that 21 members of the          interim relief of Rs. 1000/- each         no difficulties and wanted to
three families working as bonded          was given to the six adults and the       continue with their work in the
labourers were shifted from M/s           adolescent. However, one Sakulat,         same kiln. However, the munshi
Shiv Shakti Brick Kiln, Fakharpur,        w/o Nafis said that she and her           could not produce records related
Khekhra in District Baghpat to            seven f amily member s were               to payment of wages to the
M/s Maavashnavo Brick Field,              interested in working at the kiln         labourers. The issue is before the
Village Ghitora, District                 and refused to leave the job.             District Labour Officer, Baghpat.


                NHRC's Eastern Region Review Meeting on Mental Health

T        he National Human Rights
          Commission held its first
          regional review meeting for
the Eastern Region on 5 June at the
Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry
                                                                                           Mr. P Sharma, Member, NHRC.
                                                                                           Addressing the gathering, Mr. Sharma
                                                                                           said that the health care system in the
                                                                                           country in general and mental health
                                                                                           care in particular suffered from a
and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), Knake,                                                       number of serious deficiencies. For a
Ranchi, Jharkhand. The meeting was                                                         country of over one billion, there were
organized as a part of the five regional                                                   only about 37 to 40 mental hospitals in
review meetings to be held on mental          NHRC Member, Mr. PC Sharma addressing the    the government sector which were not
health during 2009-2010 to ascertain            first Eastern Region Review Meeting on     enough. The capacity of existing
the status of compliance with NHRC's                         Mental Health                 hospitals needed to be enhanced with an
recommendations on quality assurance                                                       adequate number of psychiatrists,
in mental health and to review the steps    Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar,                 clinical psychologists and psychiatric
proposed to be taken by the States.         Chhattisgarh and Orissa were invited to        nurses having orientation to shift from
Representatives of the States of            the meeting, which was inaugurated by                           (Remaining on page 4)

                                            Durban Review Conference

A         delegation of NHRC led by
         Member, Mr. Justice B.C. Patel
         attended the Durban Review
Conference in Geneva from 20th -24th
April, 2009. The aim of the Conference
                                                The National Human Rights
                                            Institutions (NHRIs) identified 14
                                            p r i o r i t i e s w h i c h t h ey we re
                                            committed to advancing together.
                                            These primarily aimed at monitoring
                                                                                           committed to the elimination of
                                                                                           racism in all its for ms and
                                                                                           manifestations. He said that the
                                                                                           Constitution of India had safeguards to
                                                                                           prevent discrimination based on a
was to:-                                    racism at the national, regional and           number of grounds including racism.
                                            global levels and promoting                    He underscored recommendations
=            progress and assess            development of national action plans           made by the Commission to all the
   implementation of the Durban             to combat racism.                              concerned authorities on ensuring
   Declaration and Programme of                                                            that human rights of all the citizens are
   Action (DDPA) adopted at 2001                                                           protected without discrimination.
   World Summit by all stakeholders at
   the National, Regional and                                                                  The NHRC India delegation also
   International levels;                                                                   met with the High Commissioner for
                                                                                           Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem
assess the
= effectiveness of the existing
                                                                                           Pillay on the side lines of Durban
   Durban follow up mechanisms and                                                         Review Conference and assured its
   other relevant UN mechanisms                                                            full support for the implementation
   dealing with the issues of racism and                                                   of the Durban declaration and
   related intolerance;                                                                    programme of action. Member, Mr.
=             universal ratification and                                                   Justice B.C. Patel suggested that joint
                                             NHRC Member, Mr. Justice BC Patel at Durban
   implementation of the International                                                     activities could be taken up in the
                                                   Review Conference in Geneva
   Convention on the elimination of                                                        field of human rights education with
   all forms of racial discrimination and       At the Plenary Session, NHRC               the support of the Office of the High
   to share good practices achieved in       Member, Mr. Justice B.C. Patel said           Commission for Human Rights
   the fight against racism.                 that the Commission was firmly                (OHCHR).

  NHRIs Kathmandu workshop on the Role and Functions of Human Rights Defenders

A       week long workshop was
       organized from 15 -19
       June, 2009 in Kathmandu,

Forum (APF) and National Human

Nepal jointly by the Asia Pacific
                                            defenders by the National Human
                                            Rights Institutions (NHRIs).
                                            Around 25 participants including
                                            representatives from the National
                                            Human Rights Institutions of India,
                                                                                           Pakistan par ticipated in the
                                                                                           workshop.       A five member
                                                                                           delegation from National Human
                                                                                           Rights Commission of India led by
                                                                                           Mr. A.K. Garg, Registrar (Law)
Rights Commission of Nepal to               Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal                  attended the workshop. A paper on
share ideas for supporting and              alongwith a representative from the            the activities of NHRC was also
protecting the human r ights                Ministry of Human Rights of                    presented.

RNI No. 59340/94


(Cont from page 2)                                One lakh rupees monetary relief in             was taken into custody by Inspector
had led the police party to arrest his             a case of death in police custody             N.K.Yadav and subsequently killed in a
accomplices. The Commission held                       Case No.24538/24/05-06                    fake encounter. The Commission
that he could not have escaped                      Sadavriksh died in police custody in         recommended that the Uttar Pradesh
without the negligence of the police             Deoria, Uttar Pradesh on 22.10.2005.            Government give monetary relief of
personnel and recommended that the               The police claimed that he committed            three lakh rupees to the deceased's next
Andhra Pradesh Government give                   suicide by hanging himself in the lock-         of kin.
monetary relief of one lakh rupees to            up of Police Station, Rudrapur.                   Three lakh rupees monetary
the next of kin.                                 However, the Commission found that                  relief in a case of death in
                                                 the injuries mentioned in the post                         police custody
  Three lakh rupees monetary relief              mortem report could not be explained                  Case No.2349/4/98-99
 in a case of death in police custody            by the State Government and
      Case No. 26809/24/05-06                    recommended monetary relief of one                       Mujahid Ali died in police
    Atiq died in police custody in Hathras,      lakh rupees to the deceased's family.           custody on 06.11.1998 at Madhubani,
Uttar Pradesh on 27.10.2005. The                                                                 Bihar. The Commission found that he
                                                    Three lakh rupees monetary                   was arrested on 26.10.1998, illegally
injuries mentioned in the post mortem                   relief in a case of fake
report confirmed police torture. The                                                             detained and tortured in custody and
                                                               encounter                         denied proper medical attention, which
Commission recommended that the                      Case No. 29826/24/03-04
Uttar Pradesh Government give                                                                    led to his death. The Commission
                                                    Jaipal died in police custody in             recommended that the Bihar
monetary relief of three lakh rupees to the
                                                 Hathras, Uttar Pradesh on 10.12.2003.           Government give monetary relief of
next of his kin.
                                                 Investigations, however, proved that he         three lakh rupees to the next of his kin.

 (Cont from page 3)
 custodial care to therapeutic care
                                                                                                           Summer Internship
 approach for patients in mental hospitals                                                                    Programme
 and they must be equipped with                                                                         NHRC'S Summer Internship
 sufficient medicines. Underlining the                                                             Programme – 2009 concluded on the
 disintegration of joint family norms as
 one of the reasons among others for                                                               16th June.      Forty eight interns
 increasing stress, Mr. Sharma said that                                                           completed their internship. Guest
 morbidity on account of mental illness            NHRC Member, PC Sharma along with others        and in-house faculty sensitized them
 would overtake cardiovascular diseases                 visiting different departments of          to the full spectrum of human rights
 as the single largest risk in India by 2020.                    RINPAS, Ranchi                    issues that the Commission deals
 In this context he said that each hospital                                                        with.
                                                  Psychiatry in the Medical Colleges of
 and the State government must draw up            the region, State Human Right
 action plans for protecting the human                                                              Cases received/processed in June
                                                  Commissions of the concerned States,
 rights of mentally ill persons.                  Representatives of the Medical                   Number of fresh complaints
     Director, NIMHANS, Bangalore,                Council of India, Members of                     received in the Commission        6775
 the Directors of Mental Hospitals in the         NHRC's Core Group and the Special                Number of cases disposed off
 Eastern Region, senior officers dealing          Rapporteurs of NHRC participated in              including fresh and old cases     6092
 with mental health in the State                  the discussions.    The reports of
 Government, officials of Ministry of             concerned States on the NHRC's                   Number of cases under
 Health and Family Welf are,                      recommendations were extensively                 consideration of the
 Government of India, Professors of               reviewed.                                        Commission including
                                                                                                   fresh and old cases              19395
             Important telephone numbers of the Commission : Facilitation Centre (Madad) : 011-2338 5368
                                                             For Complaints : Fax No. 011-23386521
                                                           : Mobile No. : 9810298900 (After Office Hours)
             Important E-mail Addresses                    : (For Complaints), (For General Queries)

  This Newsletter is also available on the Commission's website
      NGOs and other organizations are welcome to reproduce articles of the Newsletter and disseminate them widely with
      acknowledgment of the source.

       Printed and Published by Mr. Ak hil Kumar Jain, Secretary General, on behalf of the National Human Rights Commi ssion,
       Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001. Printed at : Chandu Press D-97, Shakarpur, Delhi - 110092
                                                                                                          Editor : Jaimini Kumar Srivastava