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‘Right time for Governor to reconstitute defunct SHRC’

Srinagar, Jan 16, :-Human Rights activists and stakeholders Saturday appealed Governor Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra to reconstitute State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) without any delay.

    Even after the expiry of the court deadline, the PDP-BJP led State Government had done nothing to reconstitute ‘defunct’ Commission.  A division bench comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi while acting upon a PIL filed by M.M.Shuja had directed the Government to reconstitute the Commission by November 20, 2015.

     An NGO Jammu and Kashmir People’s Forum through its counsel Advocate Nadeem Qadri had submitted that   no   formal chairperson   was   appointed by the state since 2011 and that senior members were designated as acting   chairpersons. The State Government in its reply had informed the Court that the Commission will be reconstituted shortly. However, till date nothing was done in this regard.

      Human Rights activist MM Shuja told CNS that it is the right time for the Governor to take a final call in this regard. “All the powers are vested with the Governor and he doesn’t need to constitute a committee. He can simply choose an able and deserved person for the Commission as Chairman,” he said.  Another human rights activist said that if the Governor did not take a final call these days, then after the formation of the Government, it will take months of the new government to constitute committee and appoint deserved officials on different positions in the Commission. “I think this is the opportune time for the Governor to constitute the State Human Rights Commission,” he said.   

    Interestingly the Commission has become defunct while the cases pile up with every passing day. The overall strength of SHRC, which looks into human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir is five, including four members and the chairman. The absence of chairperson and the members of the commission are creating hindrances in the normal functioning of the commission. A large numbers of cases are still pending while the new ones are being deferred till government appoints new chairman.

   “More than two thousand cases related to rapes, torture, extra judicial killings, child labour and police harassment is pending before the Commission. All these cases are not being listed for hearing.