FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What functions have been assigned to the Commission under the act?
The Commission shall, perform all or any of the following functions, namely :-
1.Inquire, on its own initiative or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf, into complaint of-....
What powers have been vested with the Commission relating to inquires?
While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following, namely-
1.Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
Does the Commission have its own investigation team?
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 utilize 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.
Is the Commission autonomous?
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.
How does the Commission inquire into complaints?
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.
What steps are open to the Commission after inquiry?
The Commission may take any of the following steps upon the completion of an inquiry:
1.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;
Can the complaint be in any language?
They may be in Hindi 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.
What kind of complaints is not entertained by the Commission?
Ordinarily, complaints of the following nature are not entertained by the Commission.
1. 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.
What is the responsibility of the authority/State Governments to which report/recommendations have been sent by the Commission?
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.
What is the Procedure for filing Complaints with the UHRC?
Procedure for filing the Complainants:-
1. Complaint may be made to the Commission by the victim or any other person on his behalf.
2. Complaint should be in writing either in English or Hindi. Only one set of complaint needs to be submitted to the Commission.
4. No fee is chargeable on such complaints.
5. The complaint shall disclose i) violation of human rights or abetment thereof or; (ii) negligence in the prevention of such violations, by a public servant.
6. The jurisdiction of the Commission is restricted to the violation of human rights alleged to have been committed within one year of the receipt of complaint by the Commission.
7. Documents, if any enclosed in support of the allegations in the complaint must be legible.
8. Name of the victim, his/ her age, sex, religion/ caste, State and District to which the incident relates, incident date etc. should invariably be mentioned in the complaint.
9. Please submit the complaint preferably in the enclosed format.
10. Following types of Complaint(s) are not ordinarily entertain able:
ii. Vague, anonymous or pseudonymous;
iii. Trivial or frivolous in nature;
iv. The matters which are pending before a State Human Rights Commission or any other Commission;
v. 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;
vi. Allegation is not against any public servant;
vii. The issue raised relates to civil dispute, such property rights, contractual obligations, etc;
viii. The issue raised relates to service matters;
ix. The issue raised relates to labour/industrial disputes;
x. Allegations do not make out any specific violation of human rights;
xi. The matter is sub-judice before a Court/ Tribunal;
xii. The matter is covered by judicial verdict/decision of the Commission.
11. As far as possible complainants are encouraged to make use of the format given above to file their complaints. The guidelines indicate the kind of information, which would facilitate in processing a complaint.
Where is the Commission located and what are its contact numbers?
UTTRAKHAND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION,
6, Bharmmawala , Sahastradhara Road, Dehradun (Uttarakhand)
Ph No. : 0135-2608333, 2608444
Fax No. 0135-2608720