Power & Function

Function of The Commission

The Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely:-

(a) inquire, suo motu or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf or on a direction or order of any court, into complaint of
(i) violation of human rights or abetment thereof; or
(ii) negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant;
(b) intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;
(c) visit, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, any jailor other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection, for the study of the living conditions of the inmates thereof and make recommendations thereon to the Government;
(d) review the safeguards provided by or under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation;
(e) review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
(f) study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation;
(g) undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;
(h) spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means;
(i) encourage the efforts of non-governmental organizations and institutions working in the field of human rights;
(j) such other functions as it may consider necessary for the protection of human rights.

Power of the Commission relating to Inquiry

While inquiring into complaints under the Act, the Commission shall have all the power of court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following matters (a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath
(b) Discovery and production of any document;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) Any other matter which may be prescribed.

Commission has its own investigating staff headed by a Director Investigation for investigation into complaints of human rights violations. Under the Act, it is open for the Commission to utilize the services of any officer or investigation agency of the State Government.

Autonomy of the Commission

The autonomy of the Commission derives, inter-alia, from the method of appointment of its Chairperson and Members, their fixity of tenure, and statutory guarantees thereto, the status they have been accorded and the manner in which the staff responsible to the Commission including its investigative agency , will be appointed and conduct themselves. The financial autonomy of the Commission is spelt out in Section 32 of the Act.
The Chairperson and Member of the Commission are appointed by the Governor on the basis of recommendations of a Committee comprising the Chief Minister as the Chairperson, the Home Minister, the speaker of the Assembly and the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly as members.