Topic: Sec 1. Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006

[No. 43 OF 2006]
[September 13, 2006]

An Act further to amend the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

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1. Received the assent of the President on September 13, 2006 and published in & : Gazette of India, Extra., Part II, Section 1.

Prefatory Note-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-The National Human Rights Commission was set up in October, 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 for promotion and better protection of human rights. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) set up an advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice A.H. Ahmedi, former Chief Justice of India to assess the need for amendments to the Act. Based on the recommendations of the Justice Ahmedi Committee, the NHRC has suggested various amendments to the said Act. The various amendments proposed by the NHRC and certain other issues relating to the scope and ambit of the Act have been examined and it has been decided to amend the Act.

2. The Bill, inter alia, seeks to-

(a) clarify that the Chairpersons of NHRC and State Human Rights Commission (SHRCs) are distinct from the Members of the respective Commission;

(b) make judges of the Supreme Court with at least three years service as such to be eligible to be appointed as the Chairperson of the NHRC.

(c) make judges of the High Courts with at least five years of service as such to be eligible to be appointed as Chairperson of the SHRCs and a District Judge with at least seven years of experience in that capacity to be a Member of the SHRC;

(d) enable the NHRC to transfer complaints received by it to the concerned SHRC;

(e) enable the NHRC to visit any jail or detention centre without prior intimation to the State Government;

(f) Enable the Chairperson and Members of the NHRC to address their resignations in writing to the President and the Chairperson and Members of the SHRCs to the Governor of the State concerned;

(g) clarify that the absence of any member in the Selection Committee for selection of the Chairperson and Members of the NHRC or the SHRCs will not vitiate the decisions taken by such Committees;

(h) enable the NHRC and the SHRCs to make interim recommendations during an inquiry;

(i) empower the NHRC and its Chairperson to delegate certain powers and functions of the Commission to the Secretary-General of the NHRC;

(j) provide that the Chairperson of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and the Chairperson of the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes shall be deemed to be Members of the NHRC;

(k) enable the Central Government to notify future international covenants and conventions to which the Act would be applicable.

3. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects.

Section 1. Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.