The Punjab State Human Rights Commission is an expression of state’s concern for the protection and promotion of human rights. It came into being in March 1997.
Inquire, on its own initiative or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf, into complaint of-
- violation of human rights or abetment thereof or….
- negligence in the prevention of such violation by, a public servant
- intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;
- 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;
- 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;
- Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
- Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation;
- Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;
- 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;
- 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.
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
- Discovery and production of any document;
- Receiving evidence on affidavits;
- Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
- Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
- Any other matter which may be prescribed.
- Yes. The Commission has its own investigating staff for investigation into complaints of human rights violations. Under the Act, it is open to the Commission to utilise the services of any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government with the concurrence of the center government or the State Government.
- Yes. The autonomy of the Commission derives, inter-alia, from the method of appointing its 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. The financial economy of the Commission is spelt out in Section 32 and 33 of the Act.
- The Chairperson and Members of the Commission are appointed by the Governor on the basis of recommendations of a Committee comprising the Chief Minister as the Chairperson, the Speaker of the legislative assembly, the minister in charge of the Department of Home in the State, the leaders of the opposition in the Legislative assembly as Members.
- The Commission while inquiring into complaints of violations of human rights may call for information or report from the Central Government or State Government or any other authority or organization subordinate thereto within such time as may be specified by it; provided that if the information or report is not received within the time stipulated by the Commission, it may proceed to inquire into the complaint on its own; On the other hand, if, on receipt of information or report, the Commission is satisfied either that no further inquiry is required or that the required action has been initiated or taken by the concerned Government or authority, it may not proceed with the complaint and inform the complainant accordingly.
- Where the inquiry discloses the commission of violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of violation of human rights by a public servant, it may recommend to the concerned Government or authority the initiation of proceedings for prosecution or such other action as the Commission may deem fit against the concerned person or persons;
- Approach the Supreme Court or the High Court concerned for such directions, orders or writs as that Court may deem necessary;
- Recommend to the concerned Government or authority for the grant of such immediate interim relief to the victim or the members of his family as the Commission may consider necessary.
- They may be in Punjabi or English . However, the State Commission may entertain complaint in any other language. The complaints are expected to be self contained. No fee is charged on complaints. The Commission may ask for further information and affidavits to be filed in support of allegations whenever considered necessary. The Commission may, in its discretion, accept telegraphic complaints and complaints conveyed through FAX.
- Commission shall not inquire into any matter after the expiry of one year from the date on which the act constituting violation of human rights is alleged to have been committed.
- Commission shall not inquire into any matter which is pending before any other commission duly constituted under law. For the time being in force.
- Matters which are vague or anonymous
- Matters of frivolous or trivial nature
- Personal matters like disputes between landlord and tenant, conjugal disputes, disputes relating to property inheritance, partitions etc.
- Violation of human rights by members of Central Armed Forces (they may be looked into by the National Human Rights Commission under section 19 of the Act)
- When allegations are not against any public servant of the State Government.
- When allegations do not make out any specific violation of human rights.
- When matter is covered by a judicial verdict/decision of the State Commission
- When the matter is outside the purview of the State Commission on any other ground.
- The authority/State Government has to indicate its comments/action taken on the report/recommendations of the Commission within a period of one month in respect of general complaints.
To know the composition of the Commission, please check the Member section of this website or click the link below:-
Chairperson & Members
SCO NO. 20-21-22, SECTOR 34-A,
CHANDIGARH - 160034, INDIA
Ph.: 0172-2635414, 0172-2635436, 0172-2635424-26 (Investigation)
Fax: 0172-2635435, 0172-2635401 (Chairperson), 0172-2635430 (Secy.)