KOLKATA: The number of complaints made to the West Bengal Human Rights Commission and the number of cases taken up by the Commission have almost doubled since April when its full Bench under Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly started functioning, officials of the Commission said here on Monday.
An average of about 450 complaints were submitted to the Commission per month last year while it has crossed 800 per month so far since April, the officials said.
Similarly the number of complaints admitted and taken up by the Commission has risen sharply. While in 2011 the Commission intervened in 908 cases, it has taken up 1,462 cases so far till November 8.
Over the past seven months, it has taken up 20 cases suo motu on the basis of media reports where it has sought reports from police officials or the State Government.
Since April the Commission has made 66 recommendations to the State Government in 27 cases after conducting inquiries. Commission officials said that the numbers of recommendations made in 2012 are also the highest over the past five years.
While Commission officials say that the State Government has accepted more than 98 per cent of its recommendations, they admit that in most States in the country the State governments had implemented 100 per cent of the recommendations.
Though some of the significant recommendations of the Commission made in the last seven months have not gone down well with the State Government, the functioning of the Commission has earned praise from civil rights activists and non-government organisations.
Relief for the people
“We are happy that the Commission is fulfilling its Constitutional obligation. In future also the Commission should continue to take up the cases involving the violations of human rights,” said Choton Das, general secretary of Bandi Mukti Committee (BMC), a civil rights group.
Despite its limitations, the recommendations of the Commission have come as a respite to the people, said Deboprasad Roy, general secretary of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights ( APDR).
However, representatives of organisations like APDR and BMC say that the Trinamool Congress Government is trying to make the Commission defunct by not implementing its recommendations.
They cite as examples the failure to initiate departmental proceedings against the State’s Excise Commissioner in connection with the death of 172 people after consuming spurious liquor in South 24 Parganas district in December 2011 and not providing compensation to Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour who were arrested for forwarding an e-mail containing graphics of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.