The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Saturday expressed deep anguish over large-scale manipulation of revenue records by declaring living land holders dead to usurp their property and asked the Principal Secretary Revenue to submit a comprehensive report of all such cases by March 12 and appear in person on March 15, 2007.
The NHRC would also take suo motto cognisance of cases of hunger deaths in the Bundelkhand region and asked the state government to ensure that information about police encounters was submitted within 24 hours. The state government has now assured NHRC of quick compliance. The NHRC is also said to be upset about rising complaints over the cases in which police refuses to lodge FIRs.
At the end of the three-day session the NHRC Acting Chairman Shivraj V Patil talking to mediapersons referred to cases of Lal Bihari 'Mritak' and others and said there have been 90 cases of living persons declared dead in Azamgarh.
About 11 similar cases have been traced in other districts, he said adding that the commission expressed serious concern over the inadequate action taken against some of the delinquent revenue officials found guilty of manipulating records. The NHRC has also asked the state government to publish a public notice asking people to report cases where living persons have been declared dead.
The NHRC would take cognisance of cases of hunger deaths in Bundelkhand region, he said adding the NHRC has also taken strong exception to the low compensation being given to the families of those who die due to electrocution. There have been 14 cases of electrocution referred to the NHRC and the UPPCL was paying a compensation of Rs 20000 only. The UPPCL has been now asked to increase the compensation to Rs 50,000, he said adding UPPCL has also agreed to pay the increased amount pending before NHRC and not insist for any cut off date.
Replying to a question he said there have been cases of delay in the compliance report of the NHRC orders. There have, however, not been any cases of officers' refusal to follow the NHRC's orders, he said. The NHRC has asked the state government to ensure that information about the police encounters should be given within 24 hours and reports of postmortem and magisterial inquiry be sent at the earliest.
In many cases the NHRC was not receiving the magisterial inquiry report even after four to five years, he said. The state government had now informed him that a Government Order (GO) asking officers to record reasons for delay if the magisterial inquiry report was not submitted within six months of the encounter.
Adverse entry would be given to the officers if the magisterial inquiry was not completed within one year. This would lead to departmental action against the officers, he said adding that the chief secretary had also assured quick compliance of the NHRC orders now. Asked about cases of fake encounters Patil said about 608 cases have been reported to the NHRC after 1993. The NHRC officers, however, were not able to confirm how many of them were fake encounters.
Email Umesh Raghuvanshi: umeshraghuvanshi @hindustantimes.com