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The Himachal Pradesh Human Rights Commission is defunct and needs to be revived to fulfill its mandate to address its cases effectively, rights activists said Sunday. There are no members or chairperson on the Himachal Pradesh State Human Rights Commission, said the Human Rights Law Network, an NGO monitoring rights violations in the state.

It said in a statement that “as a majority of human rights violation cases coming to the commission are against the government itself, it is, therefore, quite obvious that the government has been keeping the commission in a defunct state”.

The NGO in collaboration with Kshama Metre-headed CORD and the Akhil Bhartiya Harijan League conducted an independent people’s tribunal in Shimla Saturday on the functioning of state human rights commission.

Fourteen cases of rights violations, which have been pending before the commission, were put up before the tribunal, which comprised a former district judge and advocates, the NGO said. These cases demonstrate that violations of human rights of Dalits, women and other weaker sections of society continue unabated, it said.

The case of land grabbing and atrocities on the Dalits by dominant and economically influential people shows the state human rights commission has failed to perform its mandatory function.

There were serious allegations of collusion of police authorities with the accused in several cases and impartiality of police was questionable in many cases during investigation, it said.

The NGO recommended that a full-time commission chairperson and members need to be appointed so that there could be a functional panel, fulfilling its mandate to address cases of human rights violations effectively. Besides, the commission should have its own independent investigation wing, it said.

(Source: IANS)

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