No separate Human Rights Commission for J-K



Kashmiri villagers gather near a damaged house in which three militants were killed including top Hizb militant commander Lateef Tiger in Shopian district of south Kashmir. Photograph by Bhat Burhan

Srinagar: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir won’t have a separate human rights commission as the Government of India is set to bring it under the direct jurisdiction of the National Human Rights Commission.

The Union Home Ministry is mulling to notify amendments in the Protection of Human Rights Act-1993 to empower NHRC to deal with all cases of Jammu and Kashmir UT on the pattern of Union Territory of Delhi, reported wire-service KNO.

“The MHA would incorporate these amendments in the adaptation and modification order to be issued under J-KK Re-Organization Act,” sources said.

The amendments have already been cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday in New Delhi. With these changes, J-K would be the second UT after Delhi where all human rights violation cases would be dealt by the NHRC.

In 2019, the Centre amended its human rights law to work out a legal framework for empowering NHRC to deal with functions relating to human rights of Delhi UT.

There is no such mechanism for other Union Territories like Lakshwadeep, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar etc.

Under the central human rights law, the Government of India can confer function of human rights relating to other Union Territories to state commissions.

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had a full-fledged human rights commission to deal with all cases of rights violations.

It was established under Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act-1997 during the NC-led government. The Commission was disbanded days before Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh UTs came into existence because the law under which it was established was repealed by the Centre on 5 August. (KNO)

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