NHRC's two days 'Open Hearing and Camp Sitting' at Gandhinagar for the cases from Gujarat and UTs of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli concludes (27.04.2018)


Gandhinagar, 27th April, 2018

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC concluded its two day's 'Open Hearing and Camp Sitting' at Gandhinagar, Gujarat today. The Commission, in its four benches presided over by the Chairperson, Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu, Members, Mr. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Mr. Justice D. Murugesan, Mrs. Jyotika Kalra heard 136 cases in the 'Open Hearing' on the atrocities and grievances of the people belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribes communities.

Out of these, 63 cases were closed after the reports on action taken by the authorities were found satisfactory and proof of payment of Rs. 4 Lakhs was received. In 40 cases, further reports were called. In 05 cases, the State Government informed about sanction of relief in accordance with the provisions of the SC & ST (POA) Act & Rules. The Commission recommended monetary relief of Rs. 3.25 Lakh in some cases.

The State Government was asked to submit a comprehensive report in a case of alleged death of 165 persons in manhole and non-payment of Rs. 10 lakhs as per the March, 2014 order of the Supreme Court.

The cases of release of pensionary benefits and other retiral benefits, payment of wages to employees of certain companies through Labour Department, rehabilitation and relief for an 11 year old rape victim, ex-gratia relief for family of a woman, who had died due to negligence of doctor in Banaskantha, were also taken up. The concerned District Magistrates were sensitized for counseling the local bodies and the groups in districts, from where complaints were received about the prevention of Dalits entry into temples, barber facilities and taking marriage processions etc.

On the second day, 19 old cases were considered during the sitting of Full Commission. These included cases of Silicosis deaths, deaths in hospital, killing of tribals in district Sabarkantha, construction of a bridge for school going children in Junagarh district etc. The Full Commission recommended a total monetary relief of Rs. 8 Lakhs in 03 cases and in other cases, either the proof of payment was submitted or the payment of relief was at an advance stage of consideration.

The Full Commission meeting was followed by an interaction with the NGOs and Human Rights Defenders who raised numerous issues including untouchability and caste based atrocities in almost 75% of the villages and the reluctance of the police to register cases pertaining to these issues. Attention was also invited to the Forest Land issues pertaining to Tribals, non-implementation of the Food Security Act and non provision of admissible relief to the poor in Panchmahal District, besides non-issue of job cards under MNREGA scheme. An issue pertaining to constructions in Ahmedabad by Builders in violation of laws was also raised.

The interaction with NGOs was followed by a meeting with the Senior Officers of Government of Gujarat including the Chief Secretary and DGPs and the senior officers of the two Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu for sensitizing them on their role in better protection of human rights. They assured their full cooperation and commitment for Protection of Human Rights of all particularly the marginalized sections of Society.

Earlier, inaugurating the 'Open Hearing and Camp Sitting', Mr. Justice H. L. Dattu emphasized that such camp sittings facilitate speedy disposal of cases. Wider interaction with the diversse stake holders help understand the key concerns of the people from the marginalized sections of society. Apart from monetary compensation for violation of human rights and action against the perpetrators, the camp sittings pave the way for expanding scope of activities including eradication of bonded labour, child labour, rights of women, children, health and also address issues of economic and social justice. He also mentioned about the issue of silicosis, prison reforms, rights of elderly and mentally challenged and physically challenged persons besides strengthening of partnership between the Commission, State, Civil Society and the media.

The Chief Secretary of the Government of Gujarat, Dr. J. N. Singh emphasized upon the commitment of the State Government. The Secretary General of the Commission, Mr. Ambuj Sharma focused on the creation of mass awareness for protection of rights of all at the grass-root level.

The National Human Rights Commission has been holding Camp Sittings/ Open Hearings in various parts of the country for amelioration of the sufferings and atrocities on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.