National Human Rights Commission of India

National Human Rights Commission of India

National Human Rights Commission of India


National Human Rights Commission State Human Rights Commission

NHRC is appointed by the president on the recommendation of 6 member committee comprising

i.     Prime minister as head of the committee

ii.     Speaker of Lok Sabha

iii.     Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha

iv.     Union Home minister

v.     Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

vi.     Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha


SHRC is appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of 6 member committee comprising

i.     Chief minister as the head of the committee

ii.     Speaker of Assembly

iii.     Leader of opposition in Assembly

iv.     State Home minister

v.     Chairman in State legislative assembly

vi.     Leader of opposition in the state legislative assembly

Composition   4 + 1

The commission is headed by retired CJI  and will consist of 4 members with the following qualifications

i)                    Sitting or the retired judges of the supreme court

ii)                  Sitting or the retired CJ of the High court

iii)                One Human rights expert

iv)                Legal expert

The President of India must consult the CJI before appointing the sitting judge of the Supreme Court or the sitting judge of the High Court

Composition 2 + 1

Headed by the retired CJ of the High court and will consist of two members with the following qualifications

i)                    Should be a serving or the retired judge of the High court (or) District Judge in the state with the minimum 7 years experience

ii)                  Human rights expert


The governor must consult the CJ of state High Court before appointing the sitting judge of High Court.

Tenure – 5 years or 70 years of Age. Tenure – 5 years or 70 years of Age.


Removal – Same for the NHRC and SHRC. The President can remove the chair person or member of SHRC & NHRC on the following grounds.

  • He engages during his term of office in any other employment outside the duties of his office.
  • If he is adjudged insolvent
  • If he is unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
  • If he is of unsound mind and the same has been declared by the competent board
  • If he is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.
  • Apart from the above mentioned grounds, the president can also remove a chairman or any member of incapacity and proved misbehaviour on the advice of the Supreme Court.


  1. Human rights definition – Section 2 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 defines “human rights” as “ the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed under the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India”.


  1. Functions of the NHRC
    a) Inquire, on its own initiative (suo motto) 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 or
    ii) negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant;
    b) intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;
    c) 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 condition of the inmates and make recommendations thereon ;
    d) review the safeguards 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;
    e) review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
    f) study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation;
    g) undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;
    h) 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;
    i) encourage the efforts of non – Governmental organizations and institutions working in the field of human rights;
    j) such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.


  1. Investigation powers of the Commission – While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following, namely;
    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.


  1. The Commission has its own investigating staff headed by a Director General of Police for investigation into complaints of human rights violations. Under the Act, it is open to the Commission to utilize the services of any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government. The Commission has associated, in a number of cases, non – Governmental organizations in the investigation work.


  1. The Commission is autonomous in its functioning. The autonomy of the Commission is ensured through the method of appointing its Chairperson and Members, their fixity of tenure, and statutory guarantees thereto, the status they have been accorded and the manner in which the staff responsible to the Commission – including its investigative agency – will be appointed and conduct themselves.


  1. Powers of NHRC with respect to the armed forces – The Commission may on its own motion or on the basis of petitions made to it on allegations of human rights violations by armed forces, seek a report from the Central Government. On receipt of the report, it may either not proceed with the complaint or, as the case may be, make its recommendations to the Government. According to the Act, the Central Government shall inform the Commission of the action taken on the recommendations within three months or such further time as the Commission may allow. It is further stipulated that the Commission shall publish its report together with its recommendations made to the Central Government and the action taken by that Government on such recommendations. A copy of the report so published will also be given to the petitioner.


  1. Complaints of the following nature are not entertained by the Commission:
    a) In regard to events which happened more than one year before the making of the complaints;
  2. b) With regard to matters which are sub-judice;
  3. c) Which are vague, anonymous or pseudonymous;
  4. d) Which are of frivolous nature;
  5. e) Which pertain to service matters.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get in touch
close slider