Inaugurating the National Conference of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the State Human Rights Commissions (SHRCs) , Shri Rajnath Singh slammed certain vested individuals and organizations that make a hue and cry over the violation of the human rights of terrorists and militant groups. He said undue importance is being given to such so-called champions of human rights and came out strongly in support of the acts of self-defence by security forces maintaining law and order in hostile environment.
The Union Home Minister said even judgments of the learned Supreme Court are being called into question when the apex court has passed a sentence after following due diligence laid down as per the law of the land. How can somebody claim violation of one’s rights and civil liberties when they have picked up the gun trampling upon the human rights of others, he said.
The Union Home Minister said there are inadequacies in our system and judicial delays resulting in undertrials remaining behind bars long beyond the tenure of the maximum sentence for the crime they have been charged with. Shri Rajnath Singh said this is a matter of serious concern and that he is trying to address the issue. He added that necessary directions have also been issued to the State Governments to release such prisoners.
The Union Home Minister said Human Rights have been an integral part of our culture and Indian saints have highlighted the idea of ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina.’ Shri Rajnath Singh said that even before the UN Charter on Human Rights came into existence, Indian culture was aware of not only human rights but also the animal rights. He also said that human trafficking is a grave concern and there should be detailed SoPs for reintegration, repatriation & rehabilitation of trafficked victims.
The Union Home Minister said that autonomy of institutions like NHRC should remain sacrosanct. Shri Rajnath Singh said that the MHA will look into the recommendations of the NHRC post the deliberations at the conference and consider valuable recommendations for action. He said that cooperation and coordination between NHRC & SHRCs should be strengthened.
In his presidential address, Justice Cyriac Joseph, Chairperson, NHRC called for amending the Protection of Human Rights (PHR) Act so as to make the rulings of the various Human Rights Commissions (HRCs) binding on the Central and State Governments. He also called for provision of some form of human rights in States and Regions where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is in force, making the PHR Act void in such areas.
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