NHRC should focus on terror victims as well, says International Court of Justice member Dalveer Bhandari

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New Delhi | Published: February 17, 2017 2:55:47 PM

NHRC needs to focus on victims of terrorism as well while considering human rights violations and a lot needs to be done in this area, International Court of Justice (ICJ) member Dalveer Bhandari said on Friday.

Dalveer Bhandari also emphasised that the NHRC like the ICJ does not have the contempt power but given the stature it commands, most recommendations are complied with. (Reuters)Dalveer Bhandari also emphasised that the NHRC like the ICJ does not have the contempt power but given the stature it commands, most recommendations are complied with. (Reuters)

NHRC needs to focus on victims of terrorism as well while considering human rights violations and a lot needs to be done in this area, International Court of Justice (ICJ) member Dalveer Bhandari today said. Addressing a meeting of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and state rights commissions (SHRCs) here, he also pitched for holding a meeting of the chief ministers and the heads of SHRCs for ensuring better functioning. “A lot has been done by the NHRC and a lot more needs to be done. There are problems of human trafficking and homeless people sleeping in the streets. Then there is the acute water and air pollution.

“NHRC also needs to focus on victims of terrorism, another area where a lot, lot needs to be done,” justice Bhandari said. At the NHRC foundation day event last year, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also urged the body to look at cross-border terrorism victims through the prism of human rights, and examine these cases by going beyond the conventional perspective of violations. “This is one area where we will certainly step in. I will speak to the panel members on this subject definitely, as it (terrorism) is growing day in and day out,” NHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) H L Dattu, told PTI, on the sidelines.

Bhandari also emphasised that the NHRC like the ICJ does not have the contempt power but given the stature it commands, most recommendations are complied with. Citing figures, he hailed the NHRC’s performance and pitched for further strengthening the SHRCs through adequate infrastructure as well as functional and financial autonomy. “NHRC had received about 500 cases in the year (1993) it was constituted. But, in the last several years the huge increase in the number of cases reflects the faith people have in NHRC,” Bhandari said.

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So, from April 2015 to July 2016, over 1.40 lakh cases were received by the NHRC, out of which more than 1.24 lakh cases have been disposed of, he said. “And, I would also like to suggest to NHRC to conduct a meeting of SHRCs with their state CMs. Works done by state panels also need to be appreciated and such forums would build greater awareness about human rights in the states as well,” he said.

Dattu in his opening address said, “The objective of the meeting is to devise measures to bring greater efficiency in the functioning of these commissions, as well as plug the existing gaps in human rights protections and promotion framework in the country.” There are 26 states which have SHRCs. Among these, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have a common state rights panel.

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