Staff Reporter :
Reiterating his stand that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is still a ‘Toothless Tiger’, NHRC Chairman Justice H L Dattu said that if by any reasons the Central Government contemplates of giving appropriate powers to NHRC through amendment of Act, the NHRC will certainly become ‘Toothful Tigers’. Chairperson, NHRC Justice H L Dattu was in Capital on Thursday along with NHRC Members Jyotika Kalra and Dr D M Mulay, Secretary General Jaideep Govind and other senior officers to participate in the ‘Open Hearing and Camp Sitting’ and hear the complaints related to the rights violations of people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities in Chhattisgarh.
Addressing mediapersons during a media briefing, the NHRC Chairman said that he feels NHRC is a toothless tiger, as by the provision in the Act, NHRC is only permitted to make recommendations. If by any reasons those recommendations are not implemented by the authorities or the State Government, NHRC doesn’t have the power either to initiate contempt proceedings or to initiate any other type of proceedings to ensure compliance of orders passed by NHRC.
Accordingly NHRC has requested the Central Government to make a provision in the Act, that when a recommendation is made by NHRC, that recommendation either would be implemented, if not implemented, that matter could be taken to a superior court. However, 99 per cent of NRHC recommendations have been implemented. Member of NHRC Jyotika Kalra while briefing mediapersons about the cases which were heard on Thursday, said that the NHRC has taken strong objections to the promotion of a Chhattisgarh Cadre Indian Police Service officer, who was promoted despite complaint of sexual harassment was registered against him by a woman constable (working woman). The NHRC Member said that she came to know during discussion that the said IPS officer was promoted before he was charge-sheeted, but after the incident.
Although charges have been filed against the officer, but was stayed by CAT, but since then over seven months have passed CAT has not issued any order despite final disposal of the case. The NHRC viewed that if the State Government wants to provide protection to women in work place from sexual harassment, it should challenge the CAT stay in higher forum, so that justice and clarity should be prevailed. The NHRC Member further informed that the NHRC ordered the State Government to ensure cleaning of septic tanks through automated process and not manually in future while disposing off a case based on four people’s death while cleaning septic tanks.
Apart from compensation of Rs 10 lakh each was ordered in favour of these four people, the NHRC directed the state to ensure complete working gear to people engaged in such works. Earlier, NHRC Chairman Justice H L Dattu, said that not many human rights violation complaints are received from Chhattisgarh, by and large human rights violations are minimum in this State, but it can’t be stated that there is no human rights violation. Wherever there is economy, a police official, a forest department official, education, health or any other department, there has to be some lacunae here and there. These type of cases come to us and we solve these cases while providing relief to people who’re harassed by the system.