This content on “Human Rights Violation in India: An Unholy Happening”; is by Nalini Singh. She is pursuing Law from IMS Law College, Noida and is Content Writer & Legal Researcher at Legal Thirst.
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”Nelson Mandela
Every individual is born with their human rights from birth till death. These are basic rights of human being that allows one to live life with equal status in society, and it helps to render every individual with dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence irrespective of your nationality and gender. The main object of human right is to rescue humanity in the society and protect individual from unfair events
Objective of Human Rights: –
- To Safeguard human being.
- In Order to promote individual self-respect.
- To value human dignity.
- In order to promote Social Justice, democracy and friendship in nation.
- To protect fundamental rights of common people.
What is Human Rights?
Every citizen is born with “rights” and duties, however its very crucial for us to know the definition of rights and types of it, here by term of rights we mean ‘reasonable claims’ of persons recognized by society and guaranteed by law or we can also say in simple words it as on entitlement to something.
We generally deal with three types of rights in our lifetime, which are given below: –
- Legal Rights
- Fundamental Rights
- Human Rights
Where legal rights are given under various legislation passed by the Parliament or State legislature. The Fundamental Rights are mentioned in Part III of the Indian Constitution and can be enforced through courts.
According to protocol, Human Rights were demonstrated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December 1948, where section 2(1)d of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 defines Human Rights as “Rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the constitution of embodied in the International Convents and enforceable by courts in India.
The National Human Rights Commission
The National Human Rights Commission of India was setup under the Protection of Human Right Act 1993. The state government has also setup State human rights commission to deal with human rights violation within their state.
Function of NHRC
The primary function of NHRC is to conduct enquiries into violation of human rights.
It conducts enquiries for the following categories of violations:
- Violation of right to life, liberty, equality & dignity
- Abetment of violation of human rights by a public servant
- Negligence of public servant in prevention of human right’s violation.
- Inquire into human rights violation on its own or on a petition by a victim or any person on his/her behalf.
- Visits jails, hospitals, juvenile homes, mental hospitals etc. to study the living condition of the inmates.
- Review the law and procedure for protection of human rights and make recommendation for their effective implications.
- Spread human rights literacy.
How is Human Rights being Vandalized in India
As I discussed earlier about rights available in India to the individuals, now let us look towards grassroot level realities and fears which are emerging in India with coming time. The main obstacle is lack of awareness and proficiency among people which promotes collapsing of human rights in India. As per data base provided by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), there are some major unlawful acts being conducted in order to infringe human rights of an individual.
They are given below as: –
- Custodial Death
- Custodial Violence
- Illegal Arrest
- Unlawful Detention
- Encounter Death
- Harassment of Prisoners
In most of the highlighted cases given by NHRC, the largest cases are against police officials who tend to exceed there power and commits an inhuman act, the number of custodial death in India is emerging day by day which clearly shows the cruelty and torcher being regulated by them, in many of the cases we see cops, ill-treating an individual during the time of interrogation, such alarming behaviour often create a terror in the mind of individual, as we all know statutory authorities holds plethora of power and source in there hand and sometimes this becomes there ladder towards ‘breaching code of conduct’. In India, Encounter Deaths are always the most prevailed topic to debate. (UP police shot dead 122 alleged criminals in past 3 years; source – Times of India).
Why are prisoners being treated like a rogue animal?
This harshness does not come to an end over here. We all have had heard about the situation of prisoners inside jail which is deadly in real, the main question which arises over here is “Why are prisoners being treated like a rogue animal”? In India, for every small to major offences there are punishments and penalties which one goes through if commits such an act however beside all these laws & legislation if a human being is going through infliction of pain and maltreated in prison then where is basic right of person, even a barbaric criminal holds some basic rights which cannot be seized by anyone.
Despite all these what we generally witness is torcher and abuse. Inside jail, every perpetrator has right to safe drinking water and meal nevertheless the conditions in which they are being kept is not less than any ‘Deadwood’. It clearly shows the deterioration of mankind and human right being assassinated.
Spotlight Cases of Human Rights Violation in India: –
Death in Judicial Custody
Case No. 196/11/1/2019-JCD
The NHRC had received an information from the Superintendent of Special Sub-Jail Mavelinkara, Alappuzha, Kerala regarding death of under-trail prisoner on presentation of the reports, the commission detected that Judicial Magistrate found it to be a case of Homicide. Later the news was revealed that CCTV cameras inside jail had not been working, apparently there were lapse on the part of prisoner authorities, who could not perform the duties assigned, and failed to ensure safety and security of prisoners. Later on, NHRC recommended the state government to pay amount of rupees 5 lakh as indemnifying amount to the family of victim.
Another case, which was very sensational and bombshell is-
Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India (1978)
In this case, Maneka Gandhi’s passport was seized and she was refrained from moving abroad, moreover the passport authorities did not even give her reason behind seizing her passport. After that Maneka Gandhi move to the Apex Court by challenging the decision of passport authorities, which concluded in a ‘landmark judgement’. In this case Maneka Gandhi’s argument was that right to go abroad is conjoined part of the freedom of speech and expression and infringing it will lead to diminishing of rights entrusted to citizens. Our nation provides us with these rights and restricting them without any valid reason is a complete arbitrariness.
In conclusion of this case the term ‘Personal Liberty’ was looked very minutely and gave a new dimension to the drafters in this case and after this case the concept of ‘Personal Liberty’ was expanded and discussed globally and additional protection of (Article 19) was covered after this case.
As we have above discussed about the issues and complication which an individual goes through during the happening of “Human Right Violation”, However for refraining such more incidents ‘Information and Communication’ from NHRC department is very crucial. Many individuals are not aware of there basic rights and remedies. Therefore, transmission of knowledge is necessary in grassroot level, additionally, police officials also need to be explained about there gesture towards detainees, as ‘police’ are well known for rescuing and preserving once dignity, and they carry their responsibility on their shoulder.
So should they respect their obligation for facilitating this process. NHRC should conduct time to time workshop, seminar and debates to provide basic human rights norms among police & government authorities and others who are directly or indirectly involved in this process .Apart from all these connections , NGO’s should also take initiative to promote and spread awareness about human rights guidelines from their level.
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