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Kashmir rights panel headless, cases pile up

Friday February 03, 2012 05:23:26 PM, IANS

Srinagar: Over 1,100 cases have piled up with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in the militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, as it has remained headless for more than three months now, affecting hearings by the panel.

"The chairman of the state's Human Rights Commission demitted after completion of term Oct 23, 2011, and since then the commission has been functioning in the absence of a chairman," a source in the commission told IANS.

"This has resulted in a situation where no division bench hearing of alleged rights abuses and violations could be held by the commission during this period."

Only one judge is left to hear the cases. Currently the commission is dealing with 1,156 cases pertaining to rights abuses and violations.

Last year 487 complaints were received by the commission.

The cases being heard include those pertaining to unmarked graves, medical negligence, alleged forced disappearances and suo motu cognizance of rights violations taken by it.

"A total of 502 complaints were disposed of by the commission between Jan 1 and Dec 31 last year," a source said.

"The disposed cases include those filed before the commission last year and some pending from earlier. The pendency is increasing at the commission with every passing day and the normal functioning of the commission is getting handicapped in the absence of the chairman."

Despite official assertions that a new chairman for the commission would be nominated in time, the pending appointment has put a question mark on the efficacy of the state rights panel.

The commission was constituted in 1997.

The rights panel has four members besides the chairperson, who has to be a retired judge of the high court. At least one of the other members has to be a retired judge of the district and sessions court. 







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(Photo: IANS/Amlan Paliwal)



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