National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Justice Arun Mishra on Wednesday said the Commission had sufficient powers, which were being put to good use, in response to a question whether NHRC was a toothless tiger.
Speaking at a symposium on ‘Challenges Before NHRC’ organised by the India Legal Research Foundation (ILRF) in conversation with APN News Editor-in-Chief Rajshri Rai, the NHRC Chairperson said various authorities across the country followed and implemented 90 per cent of directives issued by the Commission.
He said there may be staff shortage at the state commissions but expressed hope they will be filled soon by the state governments concerned, he assured, adding India topped in implementing mechanisms to protect human rights.
To a question related to the global alliance of human rights organisations deferring the accreditation of NHRC India in May 2023 due to lack of diversity in staff and political interference in appointments, the NHRC Chairperson said till 20 years, they had no problems.
Justice Mishra pointed out that NHRC was one of the most powerful commissions in the world, which was getting its due recognition across the world. NHRC India was invited as an expert to speak in two programmes in Denmark and in Dubai, he noted.
He said many countries did not have such commissions, adding that their officials were coming to India to learn complaint management.
Regarding the rights of women in Manipur, Justice Mishra said the situation had still not normalised in the hill state. The Commission had recently organised meetings in Guwahati, where they heard people’s grievances, he said, adding that they have asked the state government to remove road blockades, which were still there.
He said 180 people have recently died, out of which, compensation was provided to 93 persons. The Commission had recommended to the Manipur government to allot funds for them to rebuild their houses. NHRC had also recommended to the state government to provide employment, education and nutritious food to people living in relief camps, added Justice Mishra.
Calling child pornography a heinous crime against children, the NHRC Chairperson stressed on bringing a strict law against it. Talking about internet bullying and the prevalence of child sexual abuse material on the Internet, he said the Commission has issued an advisory in this regard.
Justice Mishra said cells should be made in all states, adding that Internet mediators should regulate content available on websites. He said it was important to train people, including children, to tackle such crimes, adding that awareness should be raised through various mediums for prevention of such crimes. Senior Advocate Pradeep Rai, who was present on the occasion, said Justice Mishra had served the country in various capacities.