Saturday, August 30, 2008

NHRC under a cloud

The Salwa Judum case in the Supreme Court has taken a curious turn with the petitioners questioning the impartiality of the NHRC, which was asked by the Supreme Court to submit a report on human rights violations by the Salwa Judum. One of the petitioners, Nandini Sundar, has referred to a recent story in Economic Times as the basis for her apprehensions that the NHRC's report to the Supreme Court, submitted on August 26, may not be objective. She said in a press release: "The leaking of the report to Economic Times clearly amounts to contempt of court. More disturbingly, the fact that the report was most likely leaked by the respondents - who should not have been in possession of a copy - casts into doubt the impartiality and independence of the NHRC."

Nandini Sundar quotes NHRC as saying that the ET report is twisted and not fully accurate. In this account, the NHRC suggests that the attacks on the police party accompanying them by some people did not deter the team visiting the areas, but does not give any details of the attacks. Considering that the petitioners have described the police as the principal violators of human rights, NHRC's incomplete reference to an incident of attack on the police during the team's visit, is likely to be misconstrued. Why refer to this incident at all in this manner, if the team can describe it in the report?

The next hearing of the case is on September 5, after which it appears, the report will be made public.

2 comments:

Shalini said...

It is worthwhile noting that the NHRC fact-finding team was comprised of serving senior police officials. As you have observed, the petitioners have held the police (and Special Police Officers) responsible for most of the atrocities--so what sense does it make for police officers to be selected for the fact finding team, rather than some judges, other judges, NGOs etc.?

Prithvi said...

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=ET&BaseHref=ETD/2008/09/16&PageLabel=14&EntityId=Ar01402&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T


T H R O U G H T H E T H I R D EY E


An 'inveterate' law-keeper

• NOTHING, not even the hallowed law of the land, is, it seems, indispensable for the Chhattisgarh government when it finds itself ranged against upholders of basic democratic liberties, who by the way are also eminent intellectuals. Or, how else does one explain Chhattisgarh DGP's libellous article that has called critics of Salwa Judum — an entirely unconstitutional enterprise of the state to arm civilians to purportedly fight far left insurgents — supporters of Maoist terror? Neither eminent scholar Ramchandra Guha nor sociologist Nandini Sundar, two persistent critics of Salwa Judum, can by any stretch of imagination be called Maoists. That the article has not flinched from throwing the subversive tag at even some Planning Commission members, who have written a paper criticising the Chhattisgarh government's approach to the Maoist problem, proves the government's paranoia has assumed obnoxious proportions. Given that both Guha and Sundar are petitioners in a Supreme Court case that questions the constitutionality of Salwa Judum, the DGP's article is much more than libellous; it is plain illegal and unconstitutional. Third Eye has learnt that legal action is now being contemplated against this 'inveterate' law-keeper.