The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) had received 10,821 petitions during 2009 and disposed of 9,592 among them, said its Chairperson Justice A.S. Venkatachalamoorthy here on Tuesday.
Speaking at the inaugural session of a training programme on ‘Protection of human rights and to promote awareness on human rights literacy,’ attended by police officers from the south zone, he presented an outline of the functioning of the commission.
On an average, the SHRC received 12,000 complaints a year. In 2008, out of 12,313 petitions, 10,748 were disposed of. Since its inception, the SHRC had 5,274 petitions pending at various stages. From the moment a petition was received, the SHRC scrutinised, verified and inquired into the nature of the complaints.
One-third of the petitions was out of the commission’s purview, he said. Mr. Venkatachalamoorthy said that even petitions that alleged that a police officer refused to acknowledge a complaint or purposely delayed registration were taken up by the commission.
Similarly, complaints of death in police custody or gang rape were also registered by the SHRC for action.
He said that the SHRC took action not only against the police but also against other departments/professionals as well.
Quoting a few examples of human rights violation by doctors, Education Department, Forest Department, Revenue and Transport Department employees, Mr. Venkatachalamoorthy said that the commission would not interfere in the investigation conducted by the police.
Delivering the key-note address, SHRC member A.R. Selvakumar appealed to the police officers to discharge their duty as per law.
The Fire and Rescue Services Director R. Nataraj said that police department was the only organisation which functioned 24x7.
The police, at all levels, had to protect human rights and execute their duty without violating the law. Be it maintenance of law and order or crime prevention, the functioning of police personnel and officers at the station house level was important. Any lackadaisical approach was bound to invite public wrath. Hence, it was essential to work with utmost conscience and render justice, he underlined.
The DIG of Police (Madurai Range) Sandeep Mittal said that human rights were the basic rights of mankind. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Madurai city) P.C. Thenmozhi urged the police personnel to understand the rights of others.
As part of the training programme, SHRC Inspector General of Police N. Chenbaharaman, addressed the participants.
The SHRC secretary D. Uthirakkumaran welcomed the gathering. Madurai SP M. Manohar participated.