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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Q. NHRC a toothless tiger: In the backdrop of recent comment on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by its chairman, Comment on the effectiveness of NHRC.
Jun 06, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is a statutory and autonomous body constituted in 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The NHRC responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants.

In news-

Recently chairman of NHRC Justice H L Dattu referred NHRC as a toothless tiger. Even with its limited resources NHRC does investigation of cases of human rights violation, including in remote areas, but after adjudication it can only recommend remedial measures. And he demanded powers to NHRC to enforce its orders on remedial measures in cases relating to violations.

Issues of NHRC-

  • Even though NHRC is established by statute, but it can only make recommendations to the concerned authorities and it does not have power to enforce its orders.

  • Hence its recommendations many times do not percolate to the ground level. Lack of authority to ensure compliance has unfortunate consequences like partial compliance, delayed compliance or even outright rejection of its recommendation.

  • The provisions of act do not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, hence the NHRC has to keep its eyes closed to human rights violations there.

  • Similarly in cases human rights violations by private parties and by the armed forces have been restricted, hence NHRC does not effectively adjudicate matters in such cases.

  • Act does not specify clearly whether the members should have a proven record of human rights activism or expertise or qualifications in the area. Vague sentence of persons having knowledge and experience of human rights does not ensure proper and effectiveness.

  • Human rights act does not empower to investigate an event if the complaint was made more than one year after the incident. Therefore, a large number of genuine grievances go unaddressed.

  • Apart from problems related to enforcement, NHRC also faces issues like lack of members and other staff, insufficient funds, huge number of complaints and operation inefficiencies etc.


  • The effectiveness of NHRC will be greatly enhanced by empowering NHRC powers to enforce its orders. Also it needs penal powers against authorities which do not implement its orders.

  • NHRC to play meaningful role in society it must have majority of members having a proven record of human rights activism or expertise or qualifications in the area.

  • NHRC needs to develop an independent cadre of staff with appropriate experience.

  • Ambit of NHRC must be widened to include all cases of human rights violation throughout the country.

  • Awareness about human rights must enhanced by curriculum, education and by other campaigns.


Human rights are most pivotal rights of any individual and its protection must be effectively ensured by the government. To ensure these rights, apex body of rights NHRC must be empowered with required provisions. Government must take steps to reform NHRC by solving the hurdles that NHRC is facing presently.

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