orders compensation to victim of Army harrassment
The National Human Rights Commission had directed the Cabinet Secretariat
to pay Rs.30,000 as "immediate interim relief" to a victim of
harassment and atrocities committed by Army personnel.
The Cabinet Secretariat has been asked to pay the compensation amount
by May 30 this year; the relief is to be paid under section 18 (3) of
the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
According to a NHRC communication, "The commission had received a
complaint from People's Union for Civil Liberties alleging that one Savitri
Devi living in Chakrata near Dehra Dun had been subjected to harassment
by Army personnel in December 1997".
"They had entered her house, destroyed household goods and misbehaved
with her. They forcibly made her vacate the house and stay on the roads
with her children during winter. She was also threatened that she will
be killed if she disobeyed their orders. Her husband also suffered a heart
attack because of the shock".
The Commission had issued a notice to the Secretary, ministry of defence,
and to the State government of Uttar Pradesh. Response was received from
SSP, Dehra Dun who had reported that upon investigation, the allegations
were found to be true. His report also questioned the conduct of senior
officials and observed that the Army personnel had been harassing the
public of Chakrata. The civil police was not empowered to take any action
Since the facts of the case did make out a strong prima -facie case of
violation of human rights, the commission had issued a show cause notice
to the MoD as to why an amount of Rs.30,000 is not awarded as immediate
interim relief to the victim Ms. Savitri Devi.
The MoD had informed the commission that the matter related to Special
Frontier Force personnel, which was under the preview of the Cabinet Secretariat,
and hence a notice was issued to the Cabinet Secretariat which said that
they had no objection to the payment of the compensation proposed by NHRC
as the compensation amount was not large.
The Secretariat also informed the commission that the officers alleged
to be guilty in this case, had since been reverted back to the Indian
They would direct the MoD to initiate departmental proceedings against
the delinquent officials and take appropriate disciplinary action if the
charges were established.