File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Advocating Human Rights: Legal Approaches In India

The concept of Human Rights is not new to India. It is inherent part of socio, economic and cultural life of Indian society. After independence, the framers of constitution, have developed Human Rights concept to suit according to the needs of Indian society.The Indian Constitution. Every individual should acknowledge and respect the human rights guaranteed to each other as each person has dignity and value. Human rights are a set of principles concerned with equality and fairness. They recognize our freedom to make choices about our lives and to develop our potential as human beings.

They are about living a life free from fear, harassment or discrimination. These include the right to life, the right to a fair trial, freedom from torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the rights to health, education and an adequate standard of living.

Human Rights In India

India being a democratic country one of the main objectives is the protection of the basic rights of the people. The Constitution of India recognizes these rights of the people and shows deep concern towards them.

On January 24, 1947, Constituent Assembly voted to form an advisory committee on Fundamental Rights with Sardar Patel as the Chairman. Drafted list of rights were prepared by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, B. N. Rau, K. T. Shah, Harman Singh, K. M. Musnshi and the Congress expert committee.

Although there were few amendments proposed, there was almost no disagreement on the principles incorporated. The rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were almost completely covered in the Indian Constitution either in Fundamental Rights or Directive Principles of State Policy. Nineteen fundamental rights were covered in Motilal Nehru Committee Report, 1928 out of which ten appear in the Fundamental Rights whereas three of them appear as Fundamental Duties.

The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
The need for the protection of human rights issues both at national and international level led to the enactment of an Act which specifically deals with the protection of Human rights called 'The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993'. The objective of the Act is to provide organizational structure for protecting human rights. The Act provides for Human Rights Commission at national level as well as at State level in each state and further for setup of Human Rights Courts at district level for better protection of human rights and matters connected therewith.

Role Of Judiciary In Protecting Human Rights

Equality and equal protection before law Article 7
Remedies for violation of Fundamental Rights Article 8
Right to Life and personal liberty Article 9
Protection in respect for conviction of offences Article 11(2)
Right to property  Article 17
Right to freedom of conscience and to practice, profess and propagate any religion Article 18
Freedom of speech Article 19
Equality in opportunity of public service Article 21(2)
Protection of minorities Article 22
Right to education Article 26(1)

The right to adequate food, housing, water and sanitation
People's Union for Civil Liberties V Union of India
In this case, court sought to ensure compliance with the policy of supplying mid-day meals in government run primary schools

The right to health
Indian Medical Association V V.P.Shantha
It was ruled that the medical practitioner could be held liable under the Act for deficiency in service in the case of negligence.

Article 26(1) Right to education
Miss. Mohini Jain V State of Karnatka
For the first time in independent India, "Right to education" of Indian citizens and the state obligation to secure the right came under scrutiny at the premises of the apex court. The court said that

"although right to education has not been granted as the fundamental right under Part III of eth Constitution, the Articles 21, 38, 39(a),(f), 41 and 45 together makes it clear that the framers of the constitution made it obligatory for the State to provide education for its citizen."

Article 21 protection of life and personal liberty
Supreme Court in case of State of Maharashtra v. Madhukar
Narayan Mandlikar28 held that even a woman of easy virtue is entitled to privacy and no one can evade her privacy. Article 39 of the Constitution guarantees the principle of equal pay for equal work for both men and women. In State of Madhya Pradesh v. Pramod Bhartiya Supreme Court held that under Article 39 the State shall direct its policy towards securing equal pay for equal work for both men and women.


Case 1: Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action V Union of India
Supreme court recognized the "polluter pays" principle as a fundamental objective of governmental policy to prevent and control pollution.

Case 2: M.C.Mehta V Union of India
Popularly known as Taz Trapwzium case concept of sustainable development recognized.

Case 3: M.C.Mehta V Kamal Nath
Court held that the state, as a trustee of all natural resources was under a legal duty to protect them, and that the resources were meant for public use and could not be transferred to private ownership.

National Commission For Minorities:

Articles 25-30 of the Constitution are interpreted for the various rights of minorities. The National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 was establish to protect the rights of these communities It has the powers of a civil court to conduct inquires based on complaints received Monitories in their respective states. The State of Maharashtra enacted a State Minorities Commission Act in 2004

National Human Rights Commission

National Human Rights Commission was established under the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993 to fulfill the responsibility of protecting human rights on national level few functions of the commission were to:
  • Inquire into the cases of violation of human rights.
  • Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights
  • Pending before a court with the approval of such court.
  • Visit into any jail or other institution where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection, for making recommendations thereon to the Government;
  • Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.

State Commission For Protection Of Human Rights:

To conduct investigations on its own. The State Human Rights Commission has the authority to interfere in court proceedings involving any human rights violation claim; however, such involvement must be approved by the court beforehand. It goes to prisons and other places where people are held. .Encourage non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate in human rights. It possesses all the civil court's power and judicial power It has the authority to review and safeguard human rights protection. It could ask the state government or authority to pay the victim's compensation or damages.

It could advise the state government or authority to initiate criminal proceeding

It could be suggested to the state government or authority for immediate interim remedy.

It can ask the Supreme Court or a state high court for guidance, orders, or writs.

In Gujarat Communal Riot's Case, the national commission took suo motu action on

Communal riots, took place in Gujarat in early 2002; based on media reports The Commission observed that the State has failed to discharge its primary and inescapable responsibility to protect the rights to life, liberty, equality and dignity of all of those who constitute it.

Human Rights Court

Human Rights Courts State government set up these courts specifying for each district a Court of Session to be a Human Rights Court under Section 30. State Government appoints Special Public Prosecutor to conduct cases in human rights court under Section 31 of the Act.

Advocating Human Rights- Legal Approach

Advocacy groups plays a vital role to prevent their abuse and to help victims of human rights to seek justice within guaranteed political and legal structure at every level.

Media plays a crucial role in advocacy of human rights, there are many incidents which have given consideration through the help of media's exposure, we can take the example of recent incident which went viral across the social media, where two women belonging to backward class were stripped naked, publicly paraded and allegedly gang raped in Manipur, footage of the assault prompted across the India and was condemned by the PM Narendra Modi , and the Supreme Court. Till 70 days until the video went viral and pressure was put upon the authorities to act no action was taken against the culprit.

Media being a powerful medium could give publicity to violations of human rights. Even the constitution adopts the freedom of speech and expression as fundamental rights, media plays an enormous role in a number of issues in guiding the state and as well as public in the realization of human rights. A free and fair media is not only the watchdog to prevent human rights violation but also the ideal for the promotion of human rights.

Role of advocates:
Legal protection plays a vital role in the promotion and protection of human rights, as due to the close connection with law, advocates or legal profession develops the principles and application in the preservation of human rights.

Number of advocates through PIL brought suits which became responsible for the expansion of the concept of life and liberty under Article 21 of The Indian Constitution. The litigation by lawyer for the development of rights of women, recently even the bill is been passed in the parliament for the reservation of seats for women. Equal pay for equal work, child welfare, speedy justice, preventation of domestic violence, torture in prison etc.

Legal Aid
Legal Aid is another important flatform to realise and promote human rights.

The government of India enacted the Act of legal services authorities act with an aim uniformly to implement the justice dispensation system under sec 39(A) which impose an obligation on the state that the operation of the legal system promotes justice on basis of equal opportunity, providing free legal aid for ensuring justice is not denied to any citizen due to economic or other disabilities. The same is protected under Art 14 and 22(1) of the Fundamental Rights that say justice to be served equally to all.

Educational Institutions:
  • In the promotion and dissemination of human rights, education is being the potential tool to metamorphose any society, individual or institution
  • In tune with the ideology of the constitution, the government has taken a number of steps to introduce value based human rights education
  • The impartation of human rights education certainly empowers people to evolve solutions to a number of issues that are plaguing the society across the world.
  • The UN considering the role of human rights advocacy has imparted compulsory human rights education in at different levels.
  • Human rights education is the lifelong process it needs to be imparted continuously.

Role of Corporate sector:
There are certain principles followed by the corporate sector ensuring the protection of human rights they are:
  • The effective abolition of child labor
  • Make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • Paid holidays for pregnant women
  • The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor
  • Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
  • Should promote and respect human rights.
  • A redressal forum should be set up for men and women.
Business is an integral part of society needs to observe all the human rights without deviations. it should impart the principles of human rights for the health promotion of business to prevent any kind of abuse of rights in corporate sector and in society

Role Of NGO:
There are several instances where NGOs were the first to report the violation of human rights to the concerned authorities. The National Human Rights Commission

has taken action on several complaints, mainly reports by local NGOs from different parts of the country. NGOs are also having effective role in enforcing the policies of the Government.

The exceptional role of NGOs in furthering human rights is given recognition in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 not only this Act alone but also Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 also recognized the role of NGOs in Promotion of human rights. This declaration insisted upon the cooperation of nations With the NGOs in creating favorable conditions for enjoyment of human rights

The role of advocacy in human rights promotes the human rights, they work not only as advocacy groups but also cautions agents to suggest remedial mechanism to state and international organizations for the betterment of future policies of human rights.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Vaishnavi Shekhar Pawar
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: SP363541734874-26-0923

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly