NHRC to Centre:Frame rules for Whistle-blower protection Act

New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission has directed to the Government of
India to take appropriate steps for protection of whistleblowers of the country through implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Acting on the complaint of the rights activist Akhand of Human Rights Committee, Commission has directed Secretary of Ministry of personnel, public grievance and pensions to take appropriate action within eight weeks in the matter. This Ministry is under the Prime minister of India Narendra Modi .
The Central Government has enacted “Whistleblower Protection Act’ in February 2014 with mandate to provide adequate safeguard to
whistleblowers against victimisation and enquire into allegation of corruption or wilful misuse of power by Government officials in the country. The Act will be implemented after Rules being framed by Central Govt. and as well as State Government.
The petitioner alleged that though eight months have been passed since enactment of this law, neither the Centre nor the State has framed the rules. Following which the act has not been implemented till yet.
On the other hand, attack on human rights activists, RTI Activists, individuals exposing corruption is rising day by day across the country. They are found quite vulnerable in the hand of the powerful people due to disclosure of their identity while exposing corruption and filling complaints in this regard. It is needless to mention here that around 50 RTI Activists have been murdered in the country due to their act of exposing corruption by filling RTI Applications, said the petition filled by Akhand.
“Due to callousness of Government officers, the rules are not framed. I had sought the intervention of the apex rights panel”, alleged Akhand.
Disposing the petition the Commission said, “The complaint be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within 8 weeks and to inform the complainant of the action taken in the matter.”
It is believed that this law will positively be effective tool to provide protection from brutal attack, murder or charges of false cases to the persons exposing corruption, irregularities, malpractice in Government offices.
NHRC order copy on whistle blowers protection act.pdf
Frame rules for Whistle-blower protection Act_NHRC News_English.doc

NHRC sought ATR from Odisha Chief Secretary and Railway Board Chairman over eviction of Puri slum

The National Human Rights Commission has sought action taken report from Indian railway and state Government over forceful eviction of more than 300 families from Ramachandi Balikudsahi Basti at Puri. Acting on a complaint of human rights activist Akhand, the commission has directed Chairman of Railway Board and Chief secretary of Odisha to submit detailed report within four weeks.
Puri District administration and authorities of East Coast Railways in a joint operation on October 27 had evicted more than 300 families from the slum without any rehabilitation or compensation. About 20 platoons of RPF, GRP and State Armed Police besides 200 officers of various ranks and 17 magistrates were engaged in the eviction operation which enabled the authorities to take possession of four acres of land. Hundreds of family are living there without a shelter and children of the slums are deprived of education after massive demolition there.
Akhand alleged that “During the eviction process hundreds houses were demolished by six heavy excavators. The district administration had announced in the mike on October 26 evening for eviction of the slum and started demolition drive on next morning. The slum dwellers failed to get enough time to even take their belongings out of their houses.”
The people were staying in the slum since last 40 years, but the district administration without giving prior notice evicted 350 poor families of the slum without planning of their rehabilitation. Where they will go and how will they lead their lives, questioned Akhand. It is noted that East Coast railways and Government of Odisha had decided on 24 April this year to make a solution to the slum problems. It was decided that 12 acres of encroached land may be identified at Puri and the same may be handed over to the Odisha government for the construction of multistoried buildings through ‘Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yozana’ for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the unauthorized encroachments. In lieu of the transfer of the identified land at Puri, the Odisha Government has to transfer equal value of land at Malatipatpur for construction of proposed coaching complex . Railway also requested to District Magistrate, Puri on 31 July, 2014 to take the needful action for exchange of Railway land at puri to state Government. But no action was being taken to execute the decision, but the slum dwellers were evicted.
Activist Akhand with some Slum dwellers met A.K.Parashar, Joint Registrar(Law) of NHRC at Bhubaneswar on 10 October and requested to intervene in the matter. Mr. Parashar had assured the slum dwellers for justice. Then Petitioner had submitted the list of the victims, whose house are demolished by the administration. Considering the petition, the apex rights panel asked railway authorities and Chief secretary to submit action taken report in the matter within four weeks.

NHRC DG(I) to probe Odisha police encounter death

Bhubaneswar : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed its Director General (Investigation) to probe the death of a youth, who was killed in a police encounter in Odisha’s Sambalpur town on October 2 this year.
Raju Saha with his wife Manasi and son Saurabh

The Commission has directed the DG to collects factsand reports in the matter within eight weeks.

One Raju Saha (30) was killed when police opened fire on him at Dengasaragi village under the Ainthapalli police station in Sambalpur.

Police have claimed that acting on a tip-off that some criminals were hiding at Dengsaragi village under Ainthapalli police station limits, they raided the village.

During the raid, the deceased Raju Saha (30), opened fire at the police who in turn returned the fire. Raju, who was grievously hurt in the cross fire, died on the way to the VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla.

The Sambalpur SP later had informed the NHRC about the matter.

However, rights activist Akhand, in consultation with the family members of the deceased, later lodged a petition with the NHRC against the police officers involved in the encounter.

The family members of the victim had alleged that Raju was killed in a fake encounter. The police have not registered the FIR lodged by the victim’s wife, Manasi Saha in Ainthapalli police station, the petitioner alleged.

“There are some big questions that put the police action in doubt. Under what circumstances the exchange of fire took place? Whether the police had any other options left with them rather than going for an encounter and in which criminal offences was the deceased involved,” asked the petitioner in his complaint while demanding a Crime Branch/Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into the incident.

Taking cognizance of the case, the NHRC has asked its DG
(investigation) to probe the matter and urged the Odisha State Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to inform it whether the cognizance of the above referred case had been taken by it and if so, on what date, in four weeks.

NHRC orders for action against deliquent officer in starvation death

Bhubaneswar : The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) while rejecting the reports of Odisha authorities on a starvation death in Bhramagiri area last
year, has directed district administration of Puri to take action against the delinquent officers in the matter.

The Commission’s direction has come on the complaint filed by rights activist Akhand last year.

The petitioner alleged that one Sagar Gochhayat(57) of Khandualpu village of Brahamgiri block of puri had died on October 8 last year due to starvation. Now his wife Simula is waiting to die as they were deprived of BPL ration card, old age pension and other benefits which they were entitled. The administration did not take any action in the matter.
Pursuant to the summons issued by the Commission, the district collector of Puri has submitted the reports in this September. Perusal of the same reveals that victim was suffering from paralysis for about one month prior to his death. He was given benefits of Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) during the year 1998-99 and he availed rice under Antyodya Ann Yojna. No information is given about the wife of deceased.

But the report submitted by authority is silent on various aspects such as medical treatment of deceased victim and widow pension to his wife, informed Akhand.

The death of victim was alleged to happened due to starvation and the authorities have not submitted any specific information about the benefits of welfare scheme given to him and his wife

“The granting of house under IAY in 1998-99 or providing rice under Antyodya Ann Yojna are also indicating that the victim was from poor family”, said the commission in its hearing.

The Commission also said, “Consequently the report does not inspire confidence of the Commission.”

Therefore the commission has directed the district collector of puri to submit his detailed report in the matter within four weeks. The report shall inter-alia indicate the status of welfare schemes given to deceased before his death including the medical facilities and the status of welfare schemes given to his widow. The NHRC has also ordered for an appropriate action be taken against delinquent officer, if any, in the matter.

NHRC to Odisha Govt : Rehabilitate seven tribal families languihing in Police training Camp

By Prafulla Kumar Das in Bhubaneswar :

The National Human Rights Commission has directed Government of Odisha to rehabilitate seven tribal families living a very difficult life in Special Operation Group(SOG) Camp in Chandaka near Bhubaneswar. Acting on a complaint of Human Rights Activist Akhand, the commission has asked to the Chief secretary to act within eight weeks.
Last year December, Akhand alleged before the commission that seven tribal families in the premises of SOG of Odisha police at
Tulasideipur training camp, are facing many restriction due to security measures. The state Government had set up the SOG in 2004 and allotted 62 acres land at Tulasideipur village for their training. At the time of land accusation, house of the seven tribal families remains in the limits of the said camp.
Due to strict twenty-four hour security arrangement in the camp, the family members are not free to go outside for their works. Especially in the evening onwards the movement from their home is not possible, said Akhand.
The Commission had taken cognizance and directed to issue a notice to the state authority, calling for a report in the matter. Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, the IG of Police(Operations) reported the Commission that, the seven families, who were earlier residing within the allotted land, still continue to reside inside the boundary of the SOG. The Khorda District Administration has been moved to shift these families at nearest alternate location, with
rehabilitation facilities, they may be entitled to as per laws and rules. The report concedes the restricted movement of the members of these families because of strict round the clock security arrangements in the campus, due to naxalites menace. However, the report claims that freedom for reasonable movement of these families is not restricted.
The Commission has also sought a comment from the petitioner on the report of authority. The complainant has sent his comments pointing out that admittedly these seven families are living inside the camp and have difficulties in their daily life due to strict security reasons. He has requested for an earlier rehabilitation by the Government.
Having considered the reports, the Commission notes that “the seven families should be rehabilitated as soon as possible because they are facing difficulties since long. From report of the IG(Operations), it appears that the District Administration was intimated as early as in the year, 2011, but no action has been taken so far.”
“The State Government should take prompt necessary action in this regard. Let the Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha be asked to look into the matter and send within eight weeks a report on rehabilitation of the seven families residing in the premises of the SOG at Tulasideipur near Bhubaneshwar”, said the commission in his order.

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