Reliefs and disposals decline even as human rights violation cases galore in Maharashtra: RTI | Mumbai News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Amid 50% staff crunch, the state’s human rights commission seems to be struggling to do justice to thousands of human rights violation cases registered with it.
Information obtained through an RTI has suggested that the MSHRC has nearly 51% of the posts vacant which means that the commission is functioning at less than 50 % capacity. And as a result, as big as 20737 cases of human rights were pending for the year 2021 with only 15 cases witnessing justice and around 1083 cases being disposed of by December 2020, the recently composed statistics shows.
In the last five years till 2020 only in 219 cases relief has been granted, suggests the information received by Kartik Jani of The Young Whistleblowers Foundation through an RTI application. Or, does this mean that people are filing false cases and there is no human rights violation in Maharashtra? asks experts and activists.
R M Nandedkar, public information officer (Legal Section) of MSHRC said commission receives several cases much after the incident pertaining to human rights violation has occurred. “As per MSHRC rules, cases that have come after a year’s time post the incident, are not admitted. Similarly, there are cases of property or family disputes which do not fall within the purview of the commission,” he said.
Out of a total of 54 posts 28 are vacant, suggest papers obtained under RTI. There seems no urgency by the government to fill up the vacant post so the commission can function in full capacity and justice can be delivered without delay, says Jani who himself is a lawyer. Jani said the commission also doesn’t keep the statistics related to amicable settlement of the cases in the courtrooms which makes it difficult to understand how many people have actually secured their rights.
The data available on the MSHRC website shows a whopping 21,820 cases (that included cumulative pending 18057 cases since 2001-02 besides the fresh 3763 cases received in the year 2020) were to be handled in 2020. Of these, only 1083 cases were disposed of and the relief was granted in a few 15 cases keeping the pendency of 20737 cases for year 2021.
After a detailed study of the progress report on the MSHRC website, the total number of cases in which relief was provided from 2003-04 till 2011-12 is 2,012, and from 2013-14 till 2020 it’s merely 258 cases. This means after the year 2014 even though the human rights violation applications grew almost more than 150% of the average number of cases that were registered every year before 2011-12, the relief provided dipped enormously. In an average of 250 cases the relief has been given every year between 2003-04 and 2011-12 as against an average 40 cases per year between 2013-14 and 2020 that saw relief to the victims.
According to Jeetendra Ghadge of ‘The Young Whistleblowers Foundation, “The commission has only 3 Courtrooms for the entire state. The state government should not only fill up all the vacant posts but increase courtrooms to ensure justice to all. There is a serious drop in the number of disposals and reliefs awarded despite the rising number of cases questioning the efficiency of the commission and ultimately state in handling human rights cases.” Majority of the cases are of police atrocities, he added.

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