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human rights commission - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
human rights commission


What’s in news?

  1. NHRC would consider a review petition seeking to reopen its suo motu proceedings into the police firing incident in Thoothukudi on May 22, 2018.
  2. NHRC sought a status report from the Tamil Nadu government on the steps being taken to ensure sanitation facilities for garment and textile industries across the State.

Key data’s:

  • NHRC agreed to consider a review petition seeking to reopen the Sterlite case in which at least 13 people were gunned down in Thoothukudi.
  • This is the first time in 25 years that the NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of the case.

Concepts to know:

Suo Motu cognizance:

  • Suo motu – The word which is derived from Latin which gives the meaning “on its own motion”.
  • In simple terms, it is a power to take an action taken by an authority (Court or Tribunal) on its own will without any complaint or petition.
  • Suo moto means self-decision.
  • It is a special power of High Courts and the Supreme court of India to initiate a hearing by itself without anybody filing any appeal or writ petition or PIL. 
  • In India it has been warranted under Article 32 & Article 226 of the constitution.
  • These articles give provisions for filing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in India in Supreme Court and High Courts respectively. 
  • The Indian courts have taken suo-motu cognizance in instances like Contempt of court, Reopen old cases, Order probe for a new case.

National Human Rights Commission:

  • Established on 1993 under Protection of Human Rights Ordinance.
  • It’s an autonomous body and a statutory body.
  • Appointed by The President of India on the recommendation of committee.
  • Removed by The President of India, only on the charge of proved misbehaviour or incapacity or both, if it is proved by an inquiry conducted by a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Tenure: 5 years or reaches the age of 70 years.

Members of NHRC:

  • A Chairperson – retired Chief Justice of India.
  • One Member – A Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • One Member – The Chief Justice of a High Court.
  • Two Members – Among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.
  • Ex-officio members – The Chairpersons of four National Commissions (1. Minorities 2.SC and ST 3. Women).

What are Human Rights?

  • As per UN definition these rights are inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status.
  • Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.
  • These are entitled to everyone, without any discrimination.


Links to note:

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