Over 50 pc complaints with Maha rights panel relate to police

Mumbai: The number of complaints filed with Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has seen a steep rise over the last two years, from 14,523 on September 2013 to 23,530 till November 2015, with more than half of them pertaining to police atrocities.

This was stated by Justice S R Bannurmath, Chairman of the Commission, on the eve of International Human Rights Day. From January 2015 to October 2015, 4,898 fresh complaints were filed with the panel, which included 214 custodial death cases, he said.

Of the total 23,530 complaints filed (till Nov 2015), 3,293 were closed as they were not maintainable and 361 disposed of after holding inquiry, he said.

"Most of the complaints, say up to 60 per cent, pertained to police machinery, including illegal arrest, abuse of power etc followed by other public entities such as civic corporations and Zila Panchayats," Justice Bannurmath said.

Highlighting MSHRC's activities in 2015, he said, "This year we launched a new initiative, 'Justice at Doorstep', through which we held camps/sittings at divisional or district level which witnessed overwhelming response."

Apart from this, the commission held programmes to sensitise public servants in Kolhapur, Amravati and Buldhana districts on issues related to human rights. The programmes received extremely positive response, he said.

The rights panel awarded compensation totalling Rs 36.58 lakh to victims in 27 cases. Of the total amount, the state government has so far released only Rs 10 lakh, Justice Bannurmath said.

The Commission was established on March 6, 2001 as per international covenants and Promotion of Human Rights Act, 1992, to keep watch and inquire into violation of human rights by government servants.

The MSHRC also promotes respect for human rights and uses education, information and publicity to promote, protect and enforce them.

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