Being human, there are certain rights like the right to life, right to dignity, right to livelihood, and many others. Human rights are moral rights. They are universal rights.
It is observed that the rights don’t serve the purpose unless they are protected. For the protection of human rights, there have been conventions, summits, and formation of commissions.
This is the reason for the creation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
Paris Convention on NHRC
The Paris Convention came up with few suggestions:
1. It is every nation’s duty to establish a human rights commission.
2. There should be an autonomous body working for the protection of human rights.
3. To scrutinize the working of these bodies, there must be watchdog agencies to ensure better operation.
4. India has also signed all international treaties related to human rights like amnesty international and green peace.
Composition of NHRC
1. One chairman who is retired Chief Justice of India (presently H.L Dattu).
2. Four ex-officio members appointed by the President with the consultation of the advisory committee:
I. Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
II. Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
III. Chairman of National Commission for Minorities.
IV. Chairman of National Commission for Women.
3. President to appoint four other members with the consultation of the advisory committee:
I. A person who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court.
II. A person who is or has been chief justice of a High Court.
III. Two members having specialized knowledge and practical experience in human rights.
Removal of Member of NHRC
A member of the National Human Rights Commission can be removed on two grounds by order of the President:
2. Incapacity to perform
Why NHRC Came into Existence
There are various reasons for which NHRC was made or introduced. Its existence is of utmost significance. The reasons are as follows:
1. The remedy sought through courts or by the medium of litigation is costly and expensive.
2. The procedure of trial in court is time consuming.
3. To overcome the emergent situations and circumstances.
4. There are certain restrictions in PIL as well. PIL can’t be the source of justice for human rights.
5. The court process is formalised and technical.
Functions of NHRC
National human rights commission performs various functions at the national level for the protection and upliftment of human rights. They are as follows:
1. NHRC creates a balance of harmony between parliament and citizens by protecting human rights.
2. NHRC is a national body, apex to the State Human Rights Commission, and works as an appellate body also.
3. NHRC investigates the matters and scrutinizes complaints related to violations of human rights.
4. In various cases, NHRC asks the central government to investigate the matters which concern national integrity.
5. It keeps surveillance on all bodies who are working for the protection of human rights.
Note: NHRC is not a constitutional body.