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Lawyer moves HC for establishing human rights courts in state
December, 16th 2011

Peeved over dismal records of human rights violation cases, a lawyer has moved the Bombay High Court praying for establishing human rights courts across Maharashtra. Asim Sarode, also a social activist, has made state law and judiciary department as a respondent in his PIL, filed in association with a NGO - Sahyog Trust.

According to him, the global law governing human rights has become an important tool for progress all over the globe, but it is highly unfortunate that there is not a single human rights court in the state to hear cases pertaining to its violation. Though there was a specific mandatory provision in the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, to set up special human rights court in every district, not a single place has that facility till date.

The petitioner contended that since there is no implementation of the concept of human rights, the citizens especially the weaker and marginalized sections of the society have no proper judicial mechanism to fight for their rights. He pointed out that though another notification on appointing special public prosecutor (SPP) and additional public prosecutor to deal with human rights cases was issued, the government showed insensitivity and reluctance in following the judiciary's order.

Sarode argued that plainly declaring all the public prosecutors as SPPs to deal with the cases on human rights violations is an immature move by the government. He demanded a training programme for the prosecutors in which they can be sensitized and trained on dealing with human rights issues. He also asked the state to make budgetary provisions for such training and knowledge dissemination programmes. He insisted on a monitoring committee of individuals for keeping a watch on proper functioning of these special courts.

"The role of the trained public prosecutors should not be limited to represent the human rights commission but also to represent the victims of violence and crime," Sarode told TOI. He had approached various district judges of Nagpur, Pune, Akola, Kolhapur and Jalgaon to convince them to set up human rights courts, but apparently failed to get a positive response.

He added that the existence of human rights courts should not be related to the State Human Rights Commission but be made separate identities having different level of functions. "It is very important for the government to be clear on his issue because there cannot be an effective implementation of any ideal concept under ambiguous circumstances," he said.

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