In 10 yrs, human rights body acted only on 53,000 cases out of 1 lakh cases
Statistics show over one lakh cases pending with the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission since 2007
In the last 10 years, as many as 62,657 new cases have been filed with the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC), but the number of cases pending with it continues to rise. Since 2007, 1,17,094 cases have been pending with the commission, while only 53,137 cases were heard in the same period and given a verdict in.
Recently, MSHRC took suo moto cognisance when three patients were bitten by rats while undergoing treatment at the Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital. It passed judgment, asking the hospital to pay a compensation of R2 lakh to each of the patients. But this cannot be said of every case registered with it.
'Don't blame the commission'
"But the commission can't be blamed for the delays, as often there is delay in receipt of the requisite reports from the authorities concerned. In some cases, the matter remains pending adjudication before courts for years," said former chairperson of the commission, Justice B R Bannurmath.
The commission was constituted under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. In cases where the allegations are substantial but the department concerned hasn't taken appropriate steps, the commission has the right to take suo moto cognisance. It can take appropriate action to protect human rights, grant monetary relief to the victims, etc.
'We scrutinise every case'
When asked about the reason for the huge number of pending cases, commission head Bhagwant More did not comment. "We have a panel of experts that scrutinises those cases that count as violation of human rights and takes suo moto action. But that is just one part of our function," he said.
"We get several complaints every day related to refusal of FIR by police, mistreatment of terminally ill patients, women's rights and several other essential issues when people don't get justice from other departments. No fee or stamp paper is required to approach the commission."
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