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Know all about human rights and how to file a human rights complaint

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The meaning and definition of the term human rights are very wide. The meaning includes all the rights related to the life, liberty, equality, and dignity of a person. Human rights are regarded as those rights which are inalienable and are available because of being born as a human being. These rights formulate the set of fundamental rights included in the various Constitutions as well. Human Rights are mostly classified into two categories;

  1. Civil and Political Rights;

These rights mostly include the rights concerning

  • Right to life and personal liberty
  • The freedom of speech and expression
  • Equality before law
  • Freedom against discrimination
  • Social, Cultural and Economic Rights

These rights include the rights concerning

  • Right to participate in the culture
  • Right to work
  • Right to a standard of living
  • Right to education

Human rights were first enlisted in the year 1948, by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration was inspired by various international and regional human rights treaties. These rights continue to be in the process of development even today. Human Rights mostly aim at the relationship that is in existence between the Government and its people.

These rights burden the Government with the responsibility to protect the rights of the people. In order to implement the human rights, the National Human Rights Commission was established in the year 1993. This commission was established after a detailed assessment was made regarding the need for creation of a body which would deal with the issues concerning the human rights by keeping in view the measures which could be taken into consideration for the protection of the Human Rights.

The Central Government of India established the National Human Rights Commission of India in the year 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance which was enforced and brought into effect in the same year. The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 also provided for the creation of State Human Rights Commission which was to function at the State level.

This commission is empowered under the law to inquire into violation of various human rights related to various subjects mentioned under the State list and the Concurrent list in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. The State Human Rights Commission is regarded as a Quasi-Judicial body which is vested with the function of protecting the Human Rights prescribes in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also in the International Covenant on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The commission is vested with the powers of the civil Court mentioned under section 13 of the Act. These powers are concerning the collection of evidence, recording of the statements of the witness and other similar functions which are performed by a civil court during the investigation.

Filing of a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission;

A complaint can be submitted brother commission either online through the website of the national human rights commission or by writing an application to the commission stating the violation of the rights.

An application can be submitted to the NHRC when there exists a violation the human rights prescribed by the UDHR. The commission is also vested with the power of taking Suo Moto cognizance of the violation of the Human Rights.

Filing of a complaint before the State Human Rights Commission;

The procedure of filing a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission is kept highly simplified and people friendly any person or the victim on his own can present an application before the commission stating the violation of the human rights.

The procedure for filing the complaint has been deliberately kept simple so that people do not hesitate in coming forth against the violations.

However, there exist various drawbacks and loopholes in the scheme since the jurisdiction of the Commission is limited as it cannot inquire into any matter after the expiry of one year. The limitation of 1 year is provided by the law which is not always justified.

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