National Human Rights Commission's Initiatives
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was established in 1993. Despite its shortcomings, most of which are due to an inadequate law and an unresponsive government, can definitely claim some important achievements to its credit. The NHRC is a party to the petition filed by two retired police officers in the Supreme Court, seeking the Court's intervention to get the recommendations made by the NPC, to insulate police from illegitimate control of politicians, implemented. The NHRC has supported the petition and made its own detailed recommendations to the Court on the subject.
Besides attending to citizens' complaints alleging violations of their rights and providing relief in genuine cases, it has brought into sharp focus the problem of custodial deaths. The NHRC has also succeeded in persuading the state governments to set up Human Rights Cells in the Police Headquarters to be headed by a senior officer. These Cells are expected to help deal with complaints against the police, develop training curricula, organise workshops and spread human rights awareness within the force. The Commission has also requested the Chief Justices of the High Courts and the state governments to direct the District Judges to constitute a District Complaints Authority in their respective jurisdictions to deal with public complaints against the police.
The NHRC has issued comprehensive instructions/guidelines to the governments on various important issues, like custodial deaths/rapes; encounter deaths; visits to police lock ups; post mortem examinations; polygraph tests; arrests; and police community relations. To see these instructions/guidelines, please refer to the NHRC's website: www.nhrc.nic.in.