Thiruvananthapuram

NHRC open hearing, camp sitting begin

‘Effective implementation of govt. schemes closely linked to well-being of vulnerable sections’

H.L. Dattu, chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has called for “positive and proactive” steps to ensure registration of cases as per provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as part of protecting the rights of vulnerable sections.

Mr. Dattu was speaking after inaugurating a two-day open hearing and camp sitting on issues pertaining to atrocities and problems faced by the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Effective implementation of key government-sponsored socio-economic programmes was closely linked to the well-being of vulnerable sections and their human rights, he said.

But at the same time, the rights of vulnerable sections, such SC and ST communities, cannot be merely limited to welfare schemes.

It must also include measures to ensure registration of cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, he said.

Update sought

The commission, he said, would appreciate an update from the State department concerned on measures adopted to tackle atrocities committed against members of the SC and ST communities and other depressed sections.

Stating that the NHRC had been deeply concerned about the protection of the rights of girls and women, he expressed the commission’s desire to know about steps taken by the authorities to address human trafficking and cases pertaining to missing women and children.

“Issues concerning prison reforms, custodial justice, conditions of childcare institutions, basic sanitation and other facilities in thanas (police stations) and prisons, as well as delay in submission of compliance reports also have to be addressed,” he said.

Benefits diverted

Justice Antony Dominic, chairman, Kerala State Human Rights Commission, said that the commission had taken cognizance of complaints that the benefits of various government schemes were not reaching the targeted communities.

On Thursday, the commission took up 96 cases in the four Single Bench sittings by the chairman and members. A full-bench sitting on Friday will take up five cases. These pertain to alleged trafficking of children from Tamil Nadu to Kerala; sexual harassment incidents in certain orphanages in Malabar; the cremation row in the Jacobite/Orthodox Syrian Churches; and destruction of agricultural crops of tribal people. The commission also plans to meet NGOs on Friday.

NHRC members Justice P.C. Pant, D.M. Mulay, and Jyotika Kalra, NHRC Secretary General Jaideep Govind, Chief Secretary Tom Jose, Additional Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta, and NHRC Registrar (Law) Surajit Dey were present.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:02:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/nhrc-open-hearing-camp-sitting-begin/article29850566.ece

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