TODAY -

HC order to revive Human Rights Commission: A new year gift to the people of Manipur

Dr Th Suresh Singh *

High Court building of Manipur at Chingmeirong, Imphal :: 16 September 2016
High Court building of Manipur at Chingmeirong in September 2016 :: Pix - Sohajit Ng



The Hon'ble State High Court has allowed the revival of Manipur Human Rights Commission in its judgement pronounced on 04/01/2018 in respect of my PIL No.4/2014. The PIL was filed in January 2014. It took 4 Yrs. and 34 hearings, the final hearing was held on 07/09/2017 by Hon'ble acting Chief Justice N. Kotishwar and Justice Kh. Nobin Singh.

The judgement was reserved on the final day of hearing and pronounced the same on 04/01/2018 i.e. after 4 months of reservation. In the meantime, 2 Chief justices of the Hon'ble State High Court had already retired, the present acting Chief Justice being the 3rd incumbent. The Commission was constituted on 27/06/1998 by a Law Deptt. notification. It remained non-functional for the last 8 yrs.- a short of a record and a humiliating one indeed. Nevertheless, Justice delayed is far better than Justice denied.

Background : While I was preparing for my PIL for repeal of AFSPA at Supreme Court in 2012, I came across a recommendation of our Manipur Human Rights Commission regarding AFSPA. On 28/04/2010, It recommended repeal of AFSPA by observing that the Act denies citizen of India living in Manipur the "the right to life". I also came across at that time that it was not functioning for a few years.

I was just wondering at that time that, with so much fake encounters in Manipur, why the same was not functioning. I also wandered, with so much violent incidences and active Civil Societies, why the same is not mentioned in the form of bandh and demonstrations etc. (which the state famous of).

Anyway, 2012 and 2013 were very busy year for me for preparation and hearing of AFSPA and Manipur Merger Agreement implementation (Article VIII, clause 3) at India's Supreme Court. By the time, year 2013 was about to end, I was determined to move a PIL as nobody was taking interest for the same. Hence the present PIL was filed in January 2014.

The hearing : There are many interesting facets in the hearing. The previous Congress Govt. AG was just trying to postpone the hearing by stating that Chairman of the Commission, who is supposed to be a retired Chief Justice of a High Court, was not available in spite of the Govt's best efforts. Similarly, other members of the Commission was also not appointed by giving one reason or the other.

The hearing goes on postponing for one reason or the other with the 2 previous Chief Justices mocking the AG occasionally about Govt. intention. Beginning of 2016, as a petitioner, I was taking more interest and asking my Advocate why so many postponements and why not appointing other members even if the Chairman was not available etc. and etc.

Finally, The then Chief Secretary O. Nabakishore was forced to attend the Court in person. He did so on 22nd February 2016 and gave an assurance to the Court that the Chairman would be appointed within 3 months. That time passed with no sign of revival of the Commission.

Meanwhile, another assurance was given to the Court by the then AG on 04/07/2016 that the remaining members will be appointed within 6 weeks. Those 6 weeks also gone with the wind with no +ve sign. The hearing goes on postponing to my utter frustration giving reasons of bandh, holiday, court not functioning etc. with the final blow of election code of conduct.

The new govt. came. I was optimistic that somehow or other, the SHRC will be made functioning. But alas, that hope was also belied with the new AG giving unreasonable argument that other members of the Commission could not be appointed if the Chairman is not appointed 1st. Incomplete hearing/ postponement continued for another 7 times with the new AG.

The clinching : I represented self in the court in the last and last but 2 hearings. The clinching was the last hearing on 07/09/2017. I represented self on the last hearing. Advocate A. Romenkm, who acted as Amicus Curiae, pointed out as well as presented to the Court many Supreme Court rulings for appointment of the many state Human Rights Commissions within 3 months and other directions.

This helped the court quite a lot. On my part, I pointed out the unreasonable time of 2 wks notification for appointment of 2 members of the Commission by the Law Deptt. notification dt. 01/07/2017. I also pointed out to the Hon'ble Court about AG's unreasonable stand of inability to appoint other members without appointing the Chairman when the Law Deppt. had already notified for appointment of other 2 members. I still remember the hearing lasted for about 1_!2 hrs. Judging the Judge's mood, I was optimistic that we will get a +ve judgement.

The Judgement : At the press conference held on 12/01/2018, I distributed a certified copy of the judgement to all 16 reporters present. It was a very well- attended press conference, thanks to our media brethren. The high Court allowed my PIL for revival of Manipur Human Rights Commission. The operative order reads as ' the Chairman and the members of the Manipur Human Rights Commission are directed to be appointed within a period of three months from today as also directed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

Other directions issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in DK Basu as reproduced above are also to be followed. The other officers and staff as provided under section 27 of the Act commensurate with the responsibilities and status are also directed to be appointed in a time bound manner as the State Commission in the absence of adequate officers and staff to assist will not be in a position to function effectively and efficiently'.

In Para 20, the court ordered that notification for appointment of the 2 members be re-notified by giving a minimum period of 1 month

Conclusion : Many waters, polluted or otherwise, had drained to our beautiful Loktak Lake between the filling of this PIL and the final judgement. I still remember, a similar order was issued by the Hon'ble Guwahati High Court in October 2011 for functional of the same within 4 months vide PIL NO. 15/2011 by one gentlemen T. Ibobi Sharma of Kongba Road.

In spite of that, the Commission remained non-functional. Hence, we have to be on our toes till this order is fulfilled. My task as a petitioner will be complete only when the Commission starts functioning. Till then, I see no reason to rest on the horizon.

Being an optimistic, the Petitioner believes that CM Biren and the Law Minister Jayantkm. will fulfil this HC order in true spirit. It is all the more so especially when CM previously belonged to media fraternity. Let it be another cap to the many performances of the present BJP Govt.

It is also hoped that our media family will also cover such important PILs by giving more wide coverage by earmarking legal reporters for more awareness.


* Dr Th Suresh Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Dr Th Suresh is Ex-Director, Health & WHO Fellow
This article was posted on January 21 , 2018.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 54 :: Poem
  • Religious education- Part of our life
  • Free Heart Camp at Kakching Bazar
  • Jobs at Gyan Jyoti Foundation
  • Nothing seems change; everything remains
  • Predatory instinct of man: Targeting 'Manipur'
  • Lihaaz- Classical Music at IIT Guwahati
  • Mera Wayungba #1 : Gallery
  • L Modhuchandra : Young Scientist Award
  • Chavang Kut celebrated in Delhi
  • Temple runs for a pilgrim's journey
  • First day of All India Young Writers' Festival
  • Ningol Chakkouba in era of materials
  • Constitutional breakdown in governance
  • Attacked on Environment Defenders
  • Kut festival @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • Karen people's pursuit for survival..
  • Glamorous Maniac & their new single
  • City bus for high end of society- Why not?
  • Youth Leadership Camp at Yairipok
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Of Indian Constitution
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #1 : Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #2 : Gallery
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #1
  • Old Man in the Winter :: Poem
  • Drawing inspiration from Dave Mustaine
  • Condemns attack on Agnes Kharshiing
  • NEUFC Fan Park celebrates
  • Achievement lists of PDA is 'Boring'
  • MPP : Down but not out
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Kwatha Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba: Biggest fest of Manipuri
  • Mizoram Under the British Rule :: Book
  • Dr. Udit Raj: a Crusader
  • Undisclosed #MeToo campaign in Manipur?
  • Drought :: Poem
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out..
  • Detaining two more at Jiribam
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Flash Presentation
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #1: Gallery
  • Chingjaroi, Atengba, Ahongbi :: eMing
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Those Sparks and Sounds
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #2
  • Understanding RSS :: Book Review
  • Cry of a Dying River - 53 :: Poem
  • A take on Freedom of Media
  • Pay of private school teachers
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #2: Gallery
  • Art Festival @ Imphal : Gallery
  • 26 month left to meet AIDS 90-90-90 target
  • Tengnoumanbi- Essential food item ..
  • Dr Abdul Kalam vision of transforming India
  • A Wintry Landscape :: Poem
  • 'Say no to Lead Paints'
  • Completing bigger task
  • Biomedical wastes: Health, ecology at stake
  • NIA files chargesheet against 5 NSCN (K)
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Irony of idea of communal harmony
  • Blood Donation at RGU, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Career opportunities in Ecology #2
  • Down the Country Road :: Poem
  • Change of season: Prepare for winter
  • Govt forgotten promises to improve traffic
  • ATC demand: Setback to pluralistic Manipur
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Descent & inheritance among Zeliangrong
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #3
  • Seminar : Reforming Teaching-Learning
  • Attitude :: Poem
  • Tourism: A key sector in the world
  • NH7 Weekender Meghalaya : Day 2 Report
  • Early solution in Manipur difficult : Army
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #1 : Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang: Suicide prevention
  • Where have all the flowers gone? Khurkhul
  • Engaging Failed State :: Book Review
  • eNorth East Award 2018
  • Song of a Tree :: Poem
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 Kicks Off
  • Unsolved case of Pravish Chanam
  • Imphal Jamboree : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #1
  • A beacon of hope
  • Mishing tribe of Assam
  • Ransomware that made the world cry
  • State Level Painting Competition
  • A suggestion for a strong democracy
  • Issues before Parliamentary polls
  • Kut Festival @ Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • HIV : Gap between research & impact
  • My Tryst With Manipur : A Memoir :: Review
  • Cultural heritage (Kut fete)
  • Bleeding inside Brain treated at SKY
  • Indo-Myanmar Regional Border Meet
  • In Her Arms Of Death :: Poem
  • Pravish Chanam : No Action by CBI
  • Assam Don Bosco : University of the Year
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 in Meghalaya
  • Media that criticize are not your enemy, CM
  • MU limping back to normalcy
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #1: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: Flash Presentation
  • November Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Weavers training for Mamit , Mizoram
  • Diwali Lagao : Mapugidi Munda
  • Career opportunities in Ecology
  • Jobs at Trueblue, Taxi Service, Imphal
  • CM should not let this opportunity out..
  • Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ?
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #2: Gallery
  • Kut Festival :: Series of Articles
  • Comedian Huirem Manglem passed away
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Overview of Buddha's teachings on Karmma
  • Technological Globalisation and Manipur
  • Initiate disciplinary action against Police
  • 13th Indo-Myanmar Border Committee Meet
  • .....but traffic is still in mess
  • Obstinately silly or immense clout
  • 'Ethnic Conflicts in Manipur: Issues'
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #2
  • Kangla is like Ayodhya for Meiteis..Sacred
  • Health Care & Status in North East :: Book
  • Speaker List: Imphal Jamboree- Youth Fest
  • Roars of #MeToo to douse the flame of lust
  • A Welcome Change :: Poem
  • Liangmai community performed at NE fest
  • Immature press statement from NDPP: NPF
  • Our expectation from the government
  • October 31 : Rally and bandh
  • Chalwa Village in Kangpokpi #3 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs East Bengal : Gallery
  • Lullaby by This Chord :: Critical Analysis
  • Imphal Jamboree - Youth festival
  • Getting ready for Act East Policy
  • Hey! You're a role model :: Poem
  • Training on Cultivation of Mushroom
  • Yitachu is propagating misguiding facts
  • Naga Talk: Wary yet committed & hopeful
  • Fashion Show: Lamklai Kummoi: Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang : Bereavement
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-2
  • RIST Talk -37 : The Physics of Lunar Dust
  • Cry of a Dying River #51 :: Poem
  • WhatsApp cheating : Unexplained loss
  • Cat :: Poem
  • TSA cautions EMRS School
  • Non-issue turns issue
  • Cong gunning for Governor
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #1: Gallery
  • Sanjenbam Bhanumati Devi : Kavyabhusan
  • Church and climate change
  • Environmental human rights: Its evolution
  • Developing a database on bio-resource #2
  • Incomplete Love :: Poem
  • Beauty benefits of potato
  • The toddler calls
  • UNC : Acceptable to the Zeliangrongs?
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #1
  • Can we end tobacco pandemic ?
  • Experiencing Senapati town
  • City Bazaar :: Poem
  • Share market frauds : Investors at risk
  • When arrogance meets ignorance
  • Let Imphal go with town planning
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam Irrigation Canals #1
  • Chumthang Crafts at European Congress
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #3
  • Regional Rural Banks in NE :: Book Review
  • JRF at Department of Biotechnology, MU
  • The call of the wood :: Poem
  • Free Training for Minorities at JCRE
  • Mechanism for industrialisation
  • Noting efforts to reach out to people
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #1: Gallery
  • Narmada Sougaijam - Natl Konkan Award
  • Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 #2
  • Calling for Interns in Imphal
  • Bizandoo, why they put me at 3 ?
  • 6th North East Festival 2018 at Delhi
  • Senior Project Engineer @R-Square Design
  • Research Support Officer at R-Square
  • Career in Rural Management
  • The unmistakable reflections
  • Politics of Lim divide : Pitching rally & bandh
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba : Unity - hill & valley
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-1
  • Woes of farmers & measures to mitigate
  • A Scarecrow :: Poem
  • New Executive Body of DAMMS
  • National Integration Tour flagged in
  • Benevolence behind the iron fortress
  • Parties to watch in LS polls : Cong Vs BJP
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #2: Gallery
  • Police Day Marathon #2: Gallery
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #2 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19 : Gallery
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • MU: Teachers/students released : Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS