National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman and former chief justice of India justice KG Balakrishnan has said police encounters with criminals are not the solution to the problem (of lawlessness).
The NHRC chairman, who arrived in Varanasi on Monday for a two-day public hearing by the commission starting on Tuesday, referred to the efficacy of the guidelines issued by the NHRC on May 12, 2010 with regard to police encounters.
He told HT: “After the guidelines were issued by the NHRC, police encounters have gone down drastically all across the country, especially in UP.”
Elaborating on the issue, the former CJI said: “Encounters of criminals is not the remedy. There are laws. Police must arrest criminals and, thereafter, the law will take its own course.”
On the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case, the NHRC chairman stated that it was just like any other murder case.
“More than 65,000 murders take place in the country every year. The Aarushi murder case is just one of them,” the former CJI said. He advocated more powers for the commission.
“The commission can only recommend action and has no prosecuting power. It should be given power,” he said.
The chairman of the NHRC stated that the commission would take up 123 cases of human rights violations during its two-day hearing in Varanasi.
Two other commission members justice D Murugesan and Sharad Chandra Sinha, an IPS officer and former director general of the national investigation agency (NIA), have also arrived along with the NHRC chairman.
MAXIMUM COMPLAINTS FROM UP
After the NHRC was constituted in 1993, it has received around 14 lakh complaints of human rights violations till date and half of these have been from Uttar Pradesh.
Nearly 20,000 cases are pending with the commission for disposal.
“The maximum number of cases of human rights violations come from UP. This is because UP is a big state, both in terms of area and population,” Anil Kumar Parashar, joint registrar of the commission, said.
People in UP were also more aware and, therefore, the commission got more complaints from the state, Parashar added.
On the nature of complaints which the commission would take up in its two-day hearing in Varanasi, Parashar stated that complaints ranging from bonded labour, ration cards, voter card, appointment related cases, police atrocities and complaints of members of schedule castes are with the commission.
The commission has already held public hearings in Odisha, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Uttar Pradesh is the sixth state where the commission has organised a public hearing.
In UP, the first public hearing was scheduled in Meerut on November 11 and 12. But the commission decided to take up the cases of Meerut zone at its office in New Delhi as the number of complaints from Meerut zone were less.
As for Varanasi, the commission had decided to take up cases in the city itself as it had received 123 complaints.