State human, child rights panels yet to take shape

SHILLONG: Despite the spurt in human rights violations including custodial deaths in the State, the two rights panels – State Human Rights Commission and Child Rights Commission – proposed by the State Government are in limbo.

Other than fixing the salary and allowance of the Chairperson and members of the State Human Rights Commission, the Government is yet to make any appointments to the same.

After the State Cabinet decided to form the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission, the only task carried out by the Government was to table the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (Salaries and Allowances and other Terms and Conditions of Service of the Members) Rules, 2014 in the last Assembly Budget Session held in March this year.

An official, however, said that the process is on to set up the State Human Rights Commission.

In the absence of an Independent state human rights commission, issues related to custodial deaths among others are now probed by the magistrates or other officers.

Moreover, it takes time for the National Human Rights Commission to take action as very often cases of human rights violations are not taken up with the Commission in time by the aggrieved parties.

As far as the formation of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is concerned, other than appointing the Chairperson, not much progress has been achieved on the formation of a full-fledged body.

Four months after the appointment of lawyer Meena Kharkongor as Chairperson of the State Child Rights Commission, the Social Welfare department has not come up with any plan to appoint other members.

The only development was that an office was allotted to the Chairperson who was appointed on January 27 this year.

An official of the department said the Government is committed to form the full commission in the context of rise in the number of cases of atrocities against children including rape committed on minors both by minors and adults.

Besides the Chairperson, seven other members, who are yet to be appointed forms the full State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

 

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