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Patna: Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) Member Neelmani, a former DGP, in a communication to Secretary, Union Home ministry, Rajiv Mehrishi, has drawn his attention towards overlapping jurisdiction of NHRC and SHRCs on matters exculusively under the domain of State government under “State List/List II” of
Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. Neelmani has suggested amendment Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993, in this regard.
Neelmani has said that the NHRC and SHRCs are the creation of PHRA, 1993. The SHRCs, which are headed by a retired Chief Justice of High Court, have the same powers as the NHRC in dealing with matters related to State List or the Concurrent List as per Section 29 of the PHRA, he said. He has referred to the amendment in the section 13(6) of PHRA in 20o6, which says,” Where the Commission considers it necessary or expedient so to do, it may, by order, transfer any complain filed or pending before it to the State Commission of the State from which the complaint arises, for disposal in accordance with the provisions of this Act provided that no such complaint shall be transferred unless the same is one respecting which the State commission has jurisdiction toentertain the same.’’
It is left to the discretion of NHRC whether or not to transfer any case, under the category of ”State List”, to SHRCs. Federal governance provides for state autonomy to exclusively deal with subjects coming under the category of State List/List II, Neelmani says quoting the amendment.
” It is, therefore, suggested to kindly get the responses from the state governments on the issue and bring out suitable amendments to the PHRA to ensure that subjects related to “State List” are exclusively dealt with by the SHRCs,” Neelmani says adding it was his personal view. The copies of the letter have also been sent to Chairperson, BHRC, Patna, Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission, New
Delhi, Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, and Principal Secretary, Home department, Bihar government.