Assess the effectiveness of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in preventing human rights violations in India.

Q. Assess the effectiveness of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in preventing human rights violations in India.

NHRC is a statutory body that was established in 1993 through the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993. It consists of a Chairman and 4 members that aim to provide an institutional arrangement for upholding of human dignity and prevention of human rights violations.

In this regard, it has been given powers of:

  • Civil court to inquire, report and investigate matters related to human rights violation.
  • Guided by the ‘Principles of Natural Justice’.

NHRC has played a key role in taking up issues related to prison reforms, vulnerable sections and caste related violence.

But still, it has been criticized as being a “Toothless Tiger” as its:

  • Powers are only advisory in nature.
  • Allocations of fund are dismal.
  • Members lack any experience in dealing with Human rights issues.
  • Not empowered to look into matter post one year of its occurring.

Hence, needs exist to be adequately empower NHRC by enhancing its financial and human resource base, making its decision immediately enforceable etc. These steps shall go a long way in ensuring their success in promoting and protecting human rights.

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