Need more power to enforce orders: NHRC chief

SansadTV Bureau
New Delhi: NHRC chairperson  Justice HL Dattu. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: NHRC chairperson Justice HL Dattu.
Photo – PTI

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairperson Justice HL Dattu pitched for vesting the autonomous public body with more powers and authority. Speaking on the occasion of its 23rd foundation day, the NHRC chairperson said the rights watchdog should “roar like a tiger”.

“Everyone wants to have more power. We (NHRC) also want to have more power,” he told reporters.

According to a recent media report, Dattu had termed NHRC a “toothless tiger” that needed some teeth to enforce its orders on remedial measures in cases relating to any violations.

“In many cases, due to our active intervention, we have addressed human rights issues. We are celebrating our foundation day today… And, with more power, it (NHRC) should roar like a tiger,” he told the press on the sidelines of the press conference.

Since its inception in 1993, the NHRC has come a long way by addressing several issues of human rights violations as well as giving inputs on key legislations impacting human rights, he said.

“Whenever an issue of human rights violation comes to the notice of the NHRC, it has to take cognisance without bothering for the permutations and combinations of electoral politics or caste and creed equations,” he said.

When asked what action the NHRC takes in case a party to which a notice has been served by it does not respond within the stipulated time, he said, “In case they don’t, we give them one more opportunity, and even then if they don’t respond, then we issue them a conditional summon to appear before us and submit the report.”

The rights panel chief also enumerated cases where the Supreme Court had accepted its recommendations, like in the encounter cases of Manipur and the incident of silicosis in a state.

“Since October, 2015 to September, 2016, the NHRC has registered 1,05,664 cases on the basis of complaints, intimation from police and prison authorities, etc, and on suo motu basis,” the NHRC said.

During the period, maximum 32,498 complaints were registered against police, out of which 206 cases were of encounter.