About Us
Last Updated On Aug 25 2011 11:27AM
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ABOUT THE MAHARASHTRA STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) was established on 6 March 2001. The Commission in its full strength will have a Chairperson and four Members.

The MSHRC promotes respect for human rights. It uses education, information and publicity to promote, protect and enforce human rights.

It also helps people to resolve situations where there might have been infringement by public servants of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India.

If people are unable to resolve complaints themselves and if the complaints are found to be within the Commission’s jurisdiction, the Commission can provide investigation and redress into such complaints.

The State Human Rights Commission is a statutory autonomous body that administers the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The Act is intended to help ensure that all people in India are treated fairly.

The Commission has the power

To inquire, suo motu or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf, into complaint of-
(i) violation of human rights or abetment thereof; or
(ii) negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant;
To intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court
To visit, under intimation to the State Government, any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living conditions of the inmates and make recommendations thereon;
 •
To review the safeguards provided by or under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation;
 •
To review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;
 •
To spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means;
 •
To encourage the efforts of non-governmental organisations and institutions working in the field of human rights;
 •
Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights


WHAT ARE THE HUMAN RIGHTS ?

Human rights inhere in every human being by virtue of being a person. Human rights are based on mankind’s increasing demand for a decent civilized life in which the inherent dignity of each human being is well respected and protected.

Human rights are fundamental to our existence without which we cannot live as human beings.

The basic human rights might be called “sacrosanct rights” from which no derogation can be permitted in a civilized society.

The bare necessities, the minimum and basic requirements are the core of human rights concept. Human rights are universal and cut across all national boundaries and political frontiers.


Definition of Human Rights in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993

Human Rights means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
International Covenants have been defined in the Act to mean the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 16th December 1966.

 
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU ?

We can provide you with information of your rights.
We can help you in case you have a complaint against a public servant with regard to the violation of rights.

 
HOW CAN A COMPLAINT BE MADE TO THE COMMISSION ?

Any victim of human rights violation or any other person on his behalf, in person or by post, can make a complaint to the Commission.

The Commission is located at 9, Hajarimal Somani Marg. It is about 200 metres from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Formerly VT). You or your representative can come to the Commission and meet the Registrar or the Secretary, and handover your complaint or any other document.


You can also send your complaint by post or by fax to:

Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission
9 Hajarimal Somani Marg,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Formerly VT),
Mumbai - 400 001
Fax : 022-22091804

The Complaint may be written in Marathi, Hindi, English or Gujarathi.

No fee is charged on complaint. No court fee stamps are required.

 
WHAT YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IN YOUR COMPLAINT ?


Your complaint should contain the following details:

1.
Name
2.
Postal Address
3.
Place of incidence
4.
Date / period of incidence
5.
Details of human rights violation
6.
Complaint against which public servant / department
7.
Whether matter is pending before a Court / Tribunal / other Commission
8.
Relief prayed for

On receipt of your complaint the Commission may ask for further information and affidavits to be filed in support of allegations whenever considered necessary.


We assure you a patient hearing.
WHAT KINDS OF COMPLAINTS ARE NOT ENTERTAINED BY THE COMMISSION ?

Complaints of the following nature are not entertained by the Commission

(a)
vague, anonymous, pseudonymous, illegible, trivial or frivolous
(b)
matter pending before National Human Rights Commission and any other Commission or Court
(c)
relate to incidents more than one year old
(d)
allegations are not against any public servant
(e)
allegations do not make out any specific violation of human rights
(f)
where the complaint is not addressed to the Commission
(g)
matter is outside the purview of the Commission i.e. matters falling under the Union List in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution


 HOW WE DEAL WITH YOUR COMPLAINTS

All complaints received are registered and a case number is given.
After initial scrutiny a complaint is sent to a Member of the Commission who decides whether it is within the jurisdiction of the Commission or not. If the complaint is not within the jurisdiction of the Commission, as provided under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the complainant is informed accordingly.
If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Commission, it is taken up for further inquiry. For this, in the first instance a report is called from the concerned public servant or his immediate superior. If the report received explains satisfactorily, the circumstances of the case and there is no genuine complaint, the complaint is filed after informing the complainant.
In some cases there would be further investigation under the guidance of the Special Inspector General of Police of the Commission.
Affidavit is called for from the complainant and counter affidavit from the public servant against whom a complaint is made.
Thereafter, if necessary, oral and documentary evidence would be taken.
Again, if necessary, both the complainant and public servant concerned would be personally heard.
After all these stages are over the Commission would give a final decision.

The decision of the Commission after inquiry could be any one of the following:

(i)
No further action needed as the complainant ceases to have any further complaint against public servant concerned or meanwhile satisfactory steps have been taken by the public servant;
(ii)
Recommend to the concerned Government or authority for taking specific action within a specified time limit;
(iii)
Recommend to the concerned Government or authority for immediate interim relief; and
(iv)
Recommend initiation of proceedings for prosecution or disciplinary action against the concerned public servant.

 
COMMISSION'S POWERS RELATING TO INQUIRIES

The Commission has all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. These include -

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath,
(b) discovery and production of any document,
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits,
(d) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office,
(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents,
(f) any other matter which may be prescribed.

 
AREA OF WORK OF THE COMMISSION

Keeping in view its wide ranging responsibilities and the expectations of the people of the State, the Commission may take up the following activities:

Steps to check custodial violence, rape, torture and deaths.
Systemic reforms in police custody, prisons and other centers of detention,
Elimination of bonded labour and child labour,
Human rights of persons affected by HIV/AIDs
Public health as a human rights issue
Rights of the vulnerable groups
    - women, children, minorities, SC/ST/DT/NT,
    - those affected by major disasters,
    - disabled people
Promotion of human rights literacy and awareness among the public servants and in society in general.