Human rights are inherent in every human being. Human rights are based on mankind’s increasing demand for a decent civilized life in which the inherent dignity of each human being is well respected and protected.
Human rights are fundamental to our existence without which we cannot live as human beings.
The basic human rights might be called “sacrosanct rights” from which no derogation can be permitted in a civilized society.
The bare necessities, the minimum and basic requirements are the core of human rights concept. Human rights are universal and cut across all national boundaries and political frontiers.
Definition of Human Rights in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
Human Rights means the 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.
International Covenants have been defined in the Act to mean the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December 1966.
- The Act ensures Institutional Autonomy and immunities for the Chairperson and Members hence independence is guaranteed:
- Easy approachability:
- The complaints need not be in any specific format, and can be submitted on a plain paper in any of the three languages (Marathi, Hindi and English):
- No fees charged:
- Less cumbersome procedure:
- Speedy relief:
- Assistance of professional / lawyer is not required. The complainant can argue himself before the Commission and even in his absence, the Commission itself steps into his shoes and considers the case from his point of view:
- The complaint may be written in Marathi, Hindi or English language by any victim of Human Rights Violation or any other person on his behalf, to be presented in person or by Post;
- No fee is charged on complaint. No Court fee stamps are required and there is no need to engage advocate.
- The complaint against any Public Servant is required to be addressed to the Chairperson / Secretary of the Commission and should mention the following details:
- The Complainant's full name;
- Postal address of the complainant and his mobile or landline number;
- Date, time & place of the incident;
- Specify details of violation of Human Rights;
- Complaint against which Public Servant/Government Department/ Government Organization /Government Authority / Local Self Governments;
- Whether the matter is pending in any Court, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, Tribunals or any other Statutory Forums
- Relief prayed for.
- 1. Name
- 2. Postal Address
- 3. Place of incidence
- 4. Date / period of incidence
- 5. Details of human rights violation
- 6. Complaint against which public servant / department
- 7. Whether matter is pending before a Court / Tribunal / other Commission
- 8. Relief prayed for
- 9. Mobile Number or Telephone Number
- 10. Email if any
Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission 9, Hajarimal Somani Marg, Near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Formerly VT), Mumbai - 400 001 Fax : 022-22091804
The complaints of the following nature are generally not entertained by the Commission namely:
- Vague, anonymous, Pseudonymous, illegible, trivial or frivolous:
- Barred under sub-section(1)of section 36 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, when the dispute is pending before any Other Commission;
- Barred under sub-section(2)of section 36 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, when the complaint is presented after one year from alleged violation of Human Rights;
- Barred under sub-section(5)of section 21 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, when the complaint does not pertain to State subject viz Railways, Defence, Postal Department etc;
- Relate to civil dispute, such as property rights/ contractual obligations/ family/ matrimonial disputs;
- Relate to service matters or labour or industrial disputes;
- Allegations are not against any public servant;
- Allegations do not make out any specific violation of Human Rights;
- Matter is subjudiced before a Court or Tribunal;
- Matter is covered by Judicial Verdict or decision of the State Commission;
- Where a copy of the Conpalint addressed to some other authority is received by the Commission; or
- Matter is outside the purview of the Commission.
- Scrutiny of cases by Legal Wing;
- Palced before the Chairperson/ and or/Member to decide regarding maintainability;
- if not maintainable, order rejecting the complaint will be passed and complainant will be informed accordingly;
- If maintainable:
- Call for report from the conerned authority;
- On receipt of the report, the Chairperson or Member looks into the same and if satisfied that no further inquiry is required, without notice to the complainant may close case under section 17(1) (b) of the Act.
- If further enquiry is to be made, a copy of the report will be sent to the complainant and call for rejoinder, if any;
- If necessary, the Commission may independently investigate the case through Special I.G.P., the Investigation Wing of the Commission; and call for the report
- On receipt of all records/reports, may close the case or post it for hearing after notices to the both the sides and pass final order.
The Commission has all the powers of a Civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which includes among others:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
- Discovery and production of any document;
- Receiving evidence on affidavits;
- Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
- Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
- Any other matter which may be prescribed.
- The Commsion shall have power to require any person, subject to any privilege which amy be claimed by that person under any law for the time being in force, to furnish information on such points or matters as, in the opinion of the Commission, may be useful for, or relevant to. The subject matter of the enquiry and any persons so required shall be deemed to be legally bound to furnish such information within the meaning ofsection 176 an section 177 of the Indian Penal Code.
- The Commission or any other officer, not below the rank of a gazette officer, specially authorized in this behalf by the Commission may enter any building or place where the Commission has reason to believe that any document relating to the Subject matter of the inquiry may be found, and may seize any such document or take extracts or copies there from subject to the provisions of section 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in so far as it may be applicable.
- The Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court and when any offence as is described in section 175, 178, 179, 180 or 228 of the Indian Penal Code is committed in the view or presence of the Commission, the Commission may, after recording the facts constituting the offence and the statement of the accused as providedfor in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the complaint against the accused as if the case has been forwarded to him under section 346 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- Every proceeding before the Commission shall be deemed to be Judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 and for the purposes of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code, and the Commission shall be deemed to be a Civil court for all purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- Where the Commission considers it necessary or expendient so to do it may by order, transfer any complaint field or pending before it to the State Commission of the State from which the complaint arises, for disposal in accordance with the provisions of this Act; provided that no such complaint shall be transferred unles the same is one respecting which State Commission has jurisdiction to entertain the same.
- Every complaint transferred under sub-section (6) shall be delt with and disposed of by the State Commission as if it were a complaint initially filed before it.
Keeping in view its wide ranging responsibilities and the expectations of the people of the State, the Commission may take cognizance of the following activities of the State Public Servants:
- Steps to check custodial violence, rape, torture and deaths.
- Systemic reforms in police custody, prisons and other centers of care and custody,
- Elimination of bonded labour and child labour,
- Human rights of persons affected by HIV/AIDs
- Public health as a human rights issue
Rights of the vulnerable groups
- women, children, minorities, SC/ST/DT/NT,
- those affected by major disasters,
- disabled people
- Promotion of human rights literacy and awareness among the public servants and in society in general.
- Senior Citizen