Context of Human Rights Courts:
The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Central government, the States and the Union Territories on the prolonged delay for over a quarter of a century to establish exclusive human rights courts in each district and appointing special public prosecutors in them.
The Protection of Human Rights Act,1993
- The Act had called for the establishment of special courts in each district to conduct a speedy trial of offenses arising out of violation and abuse of human rights.
- Section 30 of the Act envisages that a State government, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of High Court, by notification, specify for each district a court of the session as a court of human rights for the speedy trial of violation of rights.
- Whereas Section 31 of the Act provides the State government to specify and appoint a special public prosecutor in that court.
As per the India Human Rights Report 2018, brought out by US agency there are various rights violations such as police brutality, torture and excess custodial and encounters deaths, horrible conditions in prisons and detention centers, arbitrary arrests and unlawful detention, denial of a fair public trial.
From 2001 to 2010, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recorded that 14,231 i.e. 4.33 persons died in police and judicial custody in the country. This includes 1,504 deaths in police custody and 12,727 deaths in judicial custody from 2001-2002 to 2009-2010, and a large majority of these deaths were a direct consequence of torture in custody
What is the National Human Rights Commission?
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India was established in 1993. The statute under which it is established is the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006.
- It is in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted at the first international workshop on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights held in Paris in October 1991, and endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its Regulations 48/134 of 20 December 1993.
- The NHRC is an embodiment of India’s concern for the promotion and protection of human rights.
- Section 2(1)(d) of the PHRA defines Human Rights as 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.