Give powers to SHRC

The SHRC even in its present form is doing a commendable job for the state

Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 22 2017 11:05PM | Updated Date: Nov 22 2017 11:05PM

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) seems all set to become a vibrant institution if the recent judgements on Poonch unidentified mass graves, braid chopping victim, and Budgam human shield are any indicator. Although the government has brazenly refused to implement the judgements, the silver lining is there on the firmament. The judgements have vindicated the stand of credible human rights organisations especially on the mass graves. The SHRC was rendered ineffective in 2012 after its findings on mass graves in Kashmir. For several years it remained headless and even member less. It was told in clear terms not to touch the mass grave issue. The then government had said that the grave issue shall be investigated by Truth and Reconciliation Commission which has not been created to this day. The SHRC was created in 1996 by an Act of the state legislature. For some time the recommendations of the institution were simply ignored by the government forcing one of the chairpersons to call it a ‘toothless tiger’. The reluctance of the government to implement SHRC recommendations conveyed much. But notwithstanding the indifference of the government, the SHRC has shown that it can play a vital role in the ongoing situation if only the administration shows some seriousness. The institution has its own investigative apparatus but something more is needed to make it a potent organisation. The legal experts have been urging the government to confer powers of a civil court on the organisation. This can help the institution to enforce its writ in accordance with the procedural law that is in-force in the state. Needless to say the procedural law has various checks to prevent misuse of authority by the institution. The SHRC even in its present form is doing a commendable job for the state. It is restoring the faith of the people in the state institutions, something which other institutions could not do during the past three decades in particular. The government must acknowledge this fact and do the needful in this regard.