Complaint Human Rights Commission
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In this article, Sanjana Tripathy discusses procedures for filing a case before the Human Rights Commission.


Human Rights are fundamental rights and freedoms which have a place with each person from birth till death. They are rights regardless of where a man is from, what he believes or how he carries on with his life. They can be limited yet they can never be taken away.

Section 2(d) of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 characterizes human rights as those rights identified with life, freedom, equality and dignity of the individual ensured by the Constitution or epitomized in International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.

The global community has turned out to be extremely specific about human rights subsequent to seeing the atrocities committed during Second World War. The United Nations Organization provide for human rights with its Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. The member countries were requested to perceive and observe these rights and freedoms in this presentation. The member countries observe 10th December as human rights day consistently.

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The fundamentals of human rights are as follows:-

  1. Human rights certainly have a place with each individual not as an individual from a specific country however as an individual from a human culture with no segregation in regards to sex, caste, religion and so forth.
  2. Human rights incorporate financial, political, common and social rights which are important to lead a life of dignity.
  3. Human rights are justiciable. They cover legitimate rights and in addition central rights.
  4. Human rights are not absolute. They are limited in light of a legitimate concern for justice, social tolerability, political security and so forth.
  5. Individuals can’t live without making the most of their human rights. Since they are unmindful of their rights, they must be instructed about these rights. They can lead a life of peace, security and nobility with the developing cognizance of these rights.


The accompanying are the sorts of human rights as given in Universal Declaration of Human Rights:-

  1. Social or Civil Human Rights

These rights incorporate:-

  • The privilege to life, freedom and security of people;
  • Right to freedom from bondage and servitude;
  • Right to freedom from torment or cruelty, inhuman or debasing treatment or punishment;
  • Right to freedom from discretionary obstruction with privacy, family, home or correspondence;
  • Right to wed and have family and ideal to property.

2. Political or Human Rights

These rights incorporate:-

  • Right to nationality;
  • Right to equality before law and equal protection of law;
  • Right to judicial remedies, reasonable trial and freedom from discretionary capture, confinement or outcast;
  • Right to freedom of thought, articulation, conviction, confidence, conscience and religion;
  • Right to freedom of quiet get together and affiliation;
  • Right to partake in government undertakings and equivalent access to public service;
  • Right to measure up to suffrage;
  • Right to opportunity of development and right of refuge and so on.

3. Economic Human Rights

These rights incorporate:-

  • Right to social security;
  • Right to work and the privilege to equal pay to equal work;
  • Right to form trade unions;
  • Right to rest and relaxation;
  • Right to nourishment, wellbeing and satisfactory way of life.

4. Social Human Rights

These rights incorporate:-

  • Right to take an interest in the social existence of the community;
  • Right to appreciate art and to partake in the scientific advancement and its advantages;
  • Right to the security of the good and material interests coming about because of any logical, literary and artistic creation of which the individual is the creator;
  • Right to a social and worldwide order in which the human rights as given in the Universal Declaration can be completely figured out.


In India, there are two commissions set up to ensure human rights:-

  1. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

This autonomous commission was built up on October 12, 1993. It conforms with the Paris Principles, embraced at the primary universal workshop on national establishments for the advancement and assurance of human rights held in Paris in October, 1991, and supported by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Resolution 48/134 of December 20, 1993. The Commission is an encapsulation of India’s anxiety for the advancement and security of human rights.

2. State Human Rights Commission (SHRC)

Each state has a human rights commission for insurance of human rights in a specific state. If by any chance, a man’s human rights is abused then he may file a case in the separate human rights commission.
NHRC and SHRCs are made to be supplementary to the courts and not to replace them. An official courtroom centers around punishing the wrongdoer though Human Rights Commissions centers around restoration and giving financial help to the victim without partiality to the criminal procedures against the guilty party. Commissions endeavors to make mindfulness and keep human rights from being disregarded.


The accompanying capacities are performed by this commission:-

  1. Examination of complaints identified with infringement of human rights either suo moto or after a petition is filed.
  2. Examination of non-performance of obligations with respect to any authority for avoiding infringement of human rights.
  3. Intercession in any legal procedures including any allegation of infringement of human rights.
  4. Going to any prison or some other establishment under the control of the State Government to see the living states of the prisoners and to make suggestions subsequently.
  5. Surveying the safeguards given under the constitution or any law for the security of the human rights and to prescribe suitable remedial measures.
  6. Examining treaties and other global instruments on human rights and making proposals for their powerful usage.
  7. Undertaking and promoting examination in the field of human rights.
  8. Empowering the endeavors of the NGOs working in the field of human rights.
  9. Spreading human rights education among different segments of society and to advance familiarity with the remedies accessible for the security of these rights through publications, the media, workshops and different means.
  10. Looking into all actualities identified with the exercises of the psychological oppressors which deter the method for the security of human rights and to make suggestions for their powerful execution.


There are two alternatives accessible for recording a grumbling in NHRC- offline and online.

Offline Procedure

The first choice is to file it offline. The printable adaptation of the complaint is given in the NHRC website “” After taking the printout, the complainant needs to fill this form and submit it within the required time.

The complaint can be sent to:-

ADDRESS-National Human Rights Commission, Manav Adhikar Bhawan Block-C, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi – 110023.

Or by:-

PHONE NUMBER- 24651330, 24663333

E-mail- [email protected]

FAX NUMBER- 24651332

The following format must be followed:-

  • Complainant’s Details
  1. Name-
  2. Sex-
  3. Full Address-
  4. District-
  5. State-
  6. Pincode-
  7. Mobile-
  8. E-mail id-
  1. Incident Details
  1. Incident Date-
  2. State-
  3. District-
  4. Date of Incident-
  1. Victim’s Details
  1. Name of victim-
  2. No. of victims-
  3. Full Address-
  4. District-
  5. State-
  6. Pincode-
  7. Religion-
  8. Caste (SC/ST/OBC/General)-
  9. Sex-
  10. Age-
  11. Whether disabled person-

  1. Brief summary of facts/ Allegations of human rights involved
  2. Whether complaint is against armed personnel/paramilitary? Yes/No
  3. Whether similar complaint has been filed in any court/State Human Rights Commission?
  4. Name, designation & address of the public servant against whom complaint is being made
  5. Name, designation & address of the authority/officials to whom the public servant is answerable
  • Prayer/Relief, if any, sought

Signature of Complainant                                                                                                                                                        

Online Procedure

The other alternative accessible is online. The online complaint registration form is accessible in “” The status of online complaint can be checked by clicking the “Complaints” option in the site which will incorporate the option of “Check Status of a Complaint Filed.” After clicking on that option, another page “” will open in which the complainant needs to mention the following:-

  1. Document Number
  2. Journal Number
  3. Complainant’s Name
  4. Victim’s Name
  5. Date of Incident
  6. Place

The following format is for online registration:-

Your Details

Name-                                  Sex-


State-                                   PIN-


E-Mail-                                 Mobile-

Victim’s Details



State-                                    Sex- Religion-

District-                                 Disability- Caste-

PIN-                                      Age-

Incident’s Details

Place-                                          State-

Incident Date-                             District-

Incident Category-                                                                                 

Sub category-  

Write Complaint-

Is it filed before any court/State Human Rights Commission? No/Yes

Relief Details

Pray/Relief sought-

Name, designation and address of public servant-


The following are the issues taken up by NHRC:-

  • Custodial Torture
  • Appropriate to Work and Labor Rights
  • Extrajudicial Killings
  • Discretionary Arrest and Detention
  • Over the top Powers of the Armed Forces and the Police
  • Sexual Violence
  • Struggle Induced Internal Displacement
  • Child Labor
  • Manual Scavenging
  • Brutality and victimization of Women, Children
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Rights
  • Issues looked by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Religious Minorities, Persons with Disabilities


The following procedure ought to be taken for filing a case under NHRC:-

  1. The victim or by some other individual on his behalf may file a complaint to the Commission.
  2. The appropriate complaint, either in English or Hindi or in some other Language incorporated into the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, might be documented. Just a single arrangement of complaint should be submitted to the Commission.
  3. Complaint might be sent either by Post, Fax or even by email.
  4. Fees isn’t charged on such complaints.
  5. The complaint ought to contain:-
  • Infringement of human rights or abetment thereof or;
  • Carelessness in preventing such infringement by a public servant
  • The Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to only those offences which have been committed within 1 year from the date on which the complaint is received.
  •  Any documents attached with this complaint supporting the allegations are eligible.
  1.  The complaint must contain:-
  1. His/her age
  2. Sex
  3. Caste/Religion
  4. State and district to which the incident relates
  5. Date of incident etc.


The Allahabad High Court in State of Uttar Pradesh v. National Human Rights Commission (WRIT C No.- 15570 of 2016) held that State Government can challenge NHRC’s order on merits since the Act does not provide for filing an appeal. It must be clarified that the State Government cannot modify, set aside or review the order at its discretion in the absence of an order. Order of the Commission can be challenged through an application for judicial review but the State Government subject to this right is bound to comply with the order otherwise the purpose of enacting the legislation would be defeated. (See Here)


The Supreme Court in Remdeo Chauhan @ Rajnath Chauhan v. Bani Kant Das examined the role and jurisdiction of NHRC in human rights. It stated that Section 12 (j) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 confers on NHRC “such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.” It isn’t vital that every case related to the infringement of human rights will fit decisively inside the four corners of Section 12 of the 1993 Act, for invoking the jurisdiction of the NHRC. One must acknowledge that human rights are not like proclamations engraved on a stone. They are made and unmade on the understanding and through the irreversible procedure of human battle for freedom. They concede to a specific level of smoothness. Classifications of human rights, being of many varieties, are never extremely shut. That is the reason the residuary condition in subsection (j) has been so generally worded to deal with circumstances not secured by subsections (a) to (I) of Section 12 of the 1993 Act. The purview of NHRC along these lines stands developed by Section 12(j) of the 1993 Act, to make an essential move for the assurance of human rights. Such activity would incorporate inquiry into situations where a party has been prevented the protection of any law to which he is entitled, regardless of whether by a private party, a public establishment, the legislature or even the Courts of law. We are of the conclusion that if a man is qualified for the benefit under a specific law, and advantages under that law have been denied to him, it will add up to an infringement of his human rights.

Human rights are fundamental, intrinsic, immutable and natural rights to which a man is entitled just by the righteousness of his being born a human. They are such rights which are to be made accessible as an issue of right. Constitution and Legislations of a nation remember them since they are so quintessentially part of each person. That is the reason each democratic nation resolved to rule of Law put into constraint systems for their requirement and protection. Human rights are widespread in nature. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as UDHR) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December, 1948 perceives and requires the recognition of certain widespread rights, explained therein, to be human rights, and these are recognized and acknowledged as equivalent, basic and vital for the inherent pride and advancement of a person. Thus, however, the term ‘human rights’ itself has not been characterized in UDHR, the nature and substance of human rights can be comprehended from the rights articulated in that.

Potentially thinking about the wide range of such essential rights, the meaning of ‘human rights’ in the 1993 Act has been designedly kept extremely wide to incorporate everything the rights related to life, freedom, uniformity and nobility of the individual ensured by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by Courts in India. Therefore, if a man has been ensured such rights either under the Constitution or under an International Covenant or under a law, and he is denied access to such a right, then it adds up to a reasonable infringement of his human right and NHRC has the jurisdiction to interfere for protecting it. (See Here)

Section 36 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 limits NHRC’s jurisdiction only to those complaints which are not pending before any State Commission or any other commission and are filed within 1 year from the date of the commission of offence alleged to have violated human rights.


Since NHRC is not a constitutional body, it merely recommends remedial measures or directs the state concerned to pay compensation to the aggrieved party. This does not mean that the recommendations made by the Commission are to be ignored. State is bound to comply with them. [See State of Uttar Pradesh v. National Human Rights Commission (WRIT C No.- 15570 of 2016)]


The Union Cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights.

This Bill proposes the following:-

  1. Incorporation of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as an esteemed member of National Human Rights Commission.
  2. Including a female member in the commission.
  3. Joining of a mechanism to take of the cases of human rights infringement in Union Territories.
  4. Change of the term of office of chairperson and members from the NHRC and SHRCs to make them in similarity with the terms of chairperson and members of different commissions.
  5. Consistence with the Paris Principle concerning self-rule, freedom, pluralism and far reaching capacities so as to viably ensure and promote human rights.


15 years have passed since the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was set up in India through the adoption of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, by Parliament. Throughout the years, more than 15 State Human Rights Commissions (SHRCs) have come up. The motivation to enhance the advancement and security of human rights in India pre-dates the foundation of the NHRC. Now is a decent time to analyze not just the working and adequacy of the NHRC and the SHRCs yet in addition to recognize the focal difficulties identifying with human rights later on and work towards handling them. It is critical that Human Rights Commissions (HRCs) prevail in their endeavors to promote and secure human rights. The authenticity and validity of these commissions lay on their capacity to address the issues related to human rights in a general public. It is for the Parliament to choose whether to consult NHRC with some sort of contempt powers to influence authorities to actualize its recommendations.


  1. The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
  3. “What are Human Rights?”- Equality and Human Rights Commission
  4. “Cabinet approves draft bill for better protection of human rights”
  5. “Insights into Editorial: NHRC a toothless tiger: Panel chief”
  6. “National Human Rights Commission”
  7. Website of National Human Rights Commission (
  8. National Human Rights Commission: The Role Revisited


  1. The article seems to be written ten years ago.It has been 25 years since the NHRC started functioning in 1993, but in your conclusion you have mentioned that only 15 fears have passed since the NHRC was set up. NHRC has celebrated it’s Silver Jubilee this year. However, the content of the article is good.


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