New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh has recorded the highest number of deaths in judicial and police custody in the country, revealed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday.
“Uttar Pradesh has recorded 401 deaths in judicial custody, while in the police custody, the state witnessed 27 deaths – both are highest in the entire country,” said a fact-sheet unveiled by the commission during an event to mark its Foundation Day.
According to the commission, Punjab has recorded the second highest number of judicial deaths at 170 while Maharashtra has recorded the second highest number of deaths in police custody with 23 cases.
Chhattisgarh has witnessed the highest number – 66 cases – of police gun battles, followed by Assam with 43 cases, and Jharkhand with 15 cases. “The NHRC has registered 1,05,664 cases on the basis of complaints, intimation from Police and Prison Authorities and also on suo motu basis,” NHRC Chairperson Justice HL Dattu said, speaking to reporters. “The increasing number of complaints being received by the commission indicates not only the faith of the people in its functioning but also their awareness about the importance of promotion and protection of NHRC,” he added.
Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, Delhi and Bihar were the top five states to have registered a maximum number of human rights cases with the NHRC.
“The onus is on the government in states and the Centre to ensure that the faith of the people in the NHRC is not shaken even by exception, when some of them choose to ignore its recommendations, not on the merits but merely on the ground that they are not bound under the protection of Human Rights Act to accept them,” said Mr Dattu.
Mr Dattu, who took over as the head of the NHRC in February 2016, said: “Out of several complaints received in the commission, many are on the issues which are beyond its jurisdiction. The commission can take cognizance of complaints only against the action or inaction of a public authority and not a private authority.”
Asked, what was it doing to ensure that the State Human Rights Commissions do their part when there are incidents happening, Mr Dattu said: “It is up to them to see how they intervene in the issues. Basically, we (NHRC) do not have any control on the State Human Rights Commissions.”
Since October 2015 to September 2016, the commission has disposed 1,11,295 cases, out of which 59,924 had to be dismissed as they were not in line with the provisions of the Protection of the Human Rights Act.”During the period, the commission recommended monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 70,93,000 in 380 cases,” said Mr Dattu.