PUCL Bulletin, November 2002

PUCL UP efforts to set up State Human Rights Commission bear fruit

Also see,
PUCL plea for establishment of UP State Human Rights Commission, Sept. 2002

High Court Direction to Constitute State Human Rights in Uttar Pradesh, Dec. 2001

PUCL UP Goes to the High Court Again, Aug. 2000

The judgement

-- By Neelofar Haram

Usually the setting up of a State Human Rights Commission does not attract much attention. This is because, of late, most of the State Commissions have ceased to inspire confidence amongst the people. The setting-up of the U P State Human Rights Commission is significant because the U P PUCL had been pursuing the matter through the Court and the State government. Inspite of the directions from the High Court, the State government had been dilly-dallying in the matter.

The Allahabad High Court headed by Justice Ravi. S. Dhawan had directed the State government to set-up a State Commission in 1996 following the raising of the issue in the Uttarakhand agitation case, in which Ravi Kiran Jain had appeared. At that time U P was under President's rule. Governor Motilal Vora issued a notification constituting a Human Rights Commission. The names of the Chairperson and the members were to be decided. Before that could be done President's rule ended and the Kalyan Singh government took over. In the absence of any further action, the U P PUCL filed another writ petition in 1998, telling the High Court that on the provocative exhortation of the Chief Minister there had been numerous fake encounters.

Further, the National Human Rights Commission chief told the Chief Minister Kalyan Singh to set-up a Commission as more than 55% of complaints received by the Commission were from U P. On this petition Justice B. K. Roy and Justice R. K. Singh directed the State of U P on January 12, 2000 to constitute a State Human Rights Commission within three months. In the meanwhile, Rajanath Singh became the Chief Minister and again encounters, and custodial deaths increased. In July 2002, the U P PUCL again filed a petition. Shri K G Kannabiran, President of the PUCL also went to Allahabad to argue this petition. The court issued notice to the government and the Mayawati government assured the Court that the Commission would soon be setup.

The Commission was, at last, setup on October 7 with Justice A.P. Mishra as its Chief and Justice Virendra Saran, Shri S. L. Adarsh, Shri S.R. Arya, and Shri S. V. M. Tripathi as members.

Justice A P Mishra is the son of well-known Jurist Shri Kanhaiya Lal Mishra. He has been a Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and was elevated to the Supreme Court in 1994 from where he retired in 1997.

In the U P PUCL the State President Shri Ravi Kiran Jain, the State General Secretary Dr. O.D. Singh, and its Organising Secretary K.K. Roy were energetically crusading for the setting- up of the Commission. At long last their efforts have borne fruit.

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