PIL seeks human rights courts in all districts

A Pune-based human rights activist has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to set up Human Rights Courts in every district of the state. Asim Sarode, who has filed the PIL, which is up for hearing soon, says there are no such courts in the state though they are mandatory under Section 30 of the Human Rights Protection Act, 1993. The petition has department of Law and Judiciary as respondent.

"Even though there is mandatory provision in the Act for special human rights courts in every district, there are no such courts in the state so far,'' says Sarode.

He specifically states that the Law and Judiciary department had issued a notification directing to set up sessions courts as special human rights courts to deal with offences under the Act. A notification issued by the department directs to appoint special public prosecutor and additional public prosecutor to deal with cases. The PIL mentions that the government has shown insensitivity and reluctance in establishing human rights courts, in spite of directives.

Even as there were efforts by the legal intervention wing of the human rights body Sahyog Trust, of which Sarode is a member, besides other rights activists to request several district judges from Nagpur, Pune, Akola, Kolhapur and Jalgaon to set up human rights courts, there was no response, says Sarode. The PIL states that Section 30 of the Human Rights Protection Act, makes it mandatory to have such courts in every district and Section 31 states that the public prosecutor has to oversee administration of the said courts. Sarode states that till date no such efforts have been taken up.

The petition states that protecting individuals against state intrusion and giving scope to assert fundamental rights is the duty of the government.

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