NHRC ‘Open Hearing and Camp Sitting’ held in Shillong

The National Human Rights Commission concluded its two days ‘Open Hearing and Camp Sitting’ In Shillong today recommending payment of Rs.15 lakh as relief in different cases of violation human rights of people belonging to different categories in the States of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. During the hearing of 19 cases, the State Governments’ officers informed that they have already paid Rs.10.56 lakhs as per the recommendations of the Commission in some cases to the victims and the remaining Rs 44,000/- is being disbursed soon and the proof of payment will be sent to the NHRC.

In all, 19 cases, related to the States of Meghalaya (06), Mizoram (03) and Tripura (10), were heard in the ‘Open Hearing’ by the Full Bench of the Commission, presided over by the Member Justice M.M.Kumar; Dr. D.M. Mulay and Rajiv Jain, Members of the Commission. NHRC Secretary General Bimbadhar Pradhan, Director General (Investigation) Santosh Mehra, Registrar (Law) Surajit Dey, Joint Secretary Harish Chandra Chaudhary and other senior officers and staff of the Commission, as well as officers of the State Governments of all the thre4e States and complainants were present. S.S.Dey, Advocate General, Tripura, was also present, representing the State.

The matters heard in the ‘Open Hearing’ included non-receipt of the report cases; show cause notice cases; and compliance cases. Two cases pertaining to deaths of labourers in illegal mines in Meghalaya were also heard. One of the cases related to the forcible eviction of Trebles living in the forest area in Tripura was also heard. One case of death in judicial custody in West Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, was closed as the Meghalaya State Human Rights Commission has taken prior congnizance and is already seized of the matter. In the case of non-distribution of food through PDS to Chakma people, the Commission has asked the Secretary, Mizoram State Legal Services Authority, to verify the version of the State authorities. In the case of rape of a minor girl by a para-military personnel in the State of Tripura, the Commission has recommended an amount of Rs.7,00,000/- to be paid to the victim. The Commission while appreciating the gracious presence of the Advocate General of Tripura, has also asked the State to ensure proper medical care and treatment to a handicapped person. The Commission has also asked the State of Meghalaya to submit proof of payment of Rs.3,00,000/- in a case of encounter death and to the State of Mizoram for payment of an amount of Rs.5,00,000/- in a case of police custody.

A meeting of the Commission with Chief Secretaries, DGs of Police & their representatives, and other senior officers of all the three States was also held in the afternoon on 14th December 2021

Earlier, inaugurating the 41 st ‘Open Hearing and Camp Sitting’, the Mr. Justice M M Kumar, NHRC said that the Public Hearings at regular periods provide platform for speedy justice to the citizens of India, especially SCs/STs and other vulnerable class of the society. Complainants and officials come at one place for speedy justice and succor to the victims. He further said that the Human Rights Defenders people from the civil society are crucial to protection of human rights and they should be given due participation in the process of protection and promotion of the human rights of the people.

The Secretary General, NHRC, while opening the discussions, informed that the NHRC is extensively using the HRCNet Portal for facilitation of submission of reports. The Secretary General while highlighting the States’ specific issues, emphasized on the need for Action Taken Repons from all the three State Governments on 22 advisories issued by the Commission.

Mr Justice M.M.Kumar, while addressing the officers of the States emphasized on the issues relating to the right to health, right to food, rights of the prisoners, and the persons suffering from mental illness. He also mentioned about the issues relating to the conditions of the inmates staying in homes for widows and elderly persons.

Shri Rajiv Jain, Hon’ble Member called upon the officers for expeditious submission of the requisite reports and asked them to file the reports in the prescribed proforma in cases related to deaths in custody in particular the Post Mortem Examination Reports.

Smti. R.V.Suchiang, IAS, Chief Secretary, Meghalaya, stated that in some of the advisories, they have already submitted AT Rs and in the remaining, they will send the AT Rs in due course of time. As regards the case of illegal mining, steps are being taken to prevent the same in coordination with various concerned agencies. She also assured submission of Post Mortem Examination Reports and other reports in the prescribed format as per the guidelines of the Commission.

Mr David H. Lalthangliana, OSD, Home Department, Govt of Mizoram, submitted that he has noted all the points all the directions of the Commission discussed in the meeting and will brief the same to his Chief Secretary for compliance, accordingly.

Mr Lalminga Darlong, IPS, DIG (NR) Tripura, submitted that they have submitted Action Taken Reports in eight of the advisories of the Commission and assured that ATR in the remaining advisories would be submitted shortly.

The Commission also held a discussion with NGOs / HRDs and members of the Civil Society, during their interactions on 15th December 2021 who raised issues of healthcare, SCs/STs, women, elderly and children. The Commission reiterated that the NGOs are actually eyes and ear of the Commission and they are true partners of the Commission in spreading awareness regarding promotion and protection of human rights.

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