We, Peoples Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)( an initiative of Jan Mitra Nyas) in India, desiring that State embodies the aspirations of the People, aver the need for greater efforts for promoting the sovereignty of the People through democratic values and structures based on nonviolence and justice.
We uphold social democracy and economic equity through sustainable development.
We advocate optimum and equitable utilization of resources for the benefit of the people, providing them adequate forum to influence and participate in decisions on natural resource use and management.
We reaffirm the inalienable right of the People of India to basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, health, education, social security and productive work as dignity of labour.
We cherish and uphold the Rule of Law, sovereignty of the people, a system of governance that ensures devolution of power, People's right to self-rule and control over natural resources.
We advocate full independence of the judiciary, adhering to internationally recognized values and principles. People beneficial law making process has to be participatory, representative and fully transparent.
We believe that People have sovereign rights to take decisions on matters concerning their lives, and urge periodic review of all international commitments and national laws to enable people to exercise sovereignty.
We maintain that governance improvements have to begin and end with the People and that their empowerment can result only when power is devolved through effective structural changes in character of Shraman Culture[i] (culture of inclusiveness) based on justice, nonviolence and rule of law.
We also maintain that existing social, economic and political imbalances hinder nation- state building and that the legislature, executive and the judiciary must be fully accountable to the People.
We uphold the information right to people through participation in decision-making and governance.
To organize a non-violence force in against and oppose the attempt of the Saffron brigade to saffronise the rainbow culture of the country. We strongly support the pluralism of our Nation and are determined not to allow anyone to destroy the pluralistic atmosphere of the country.
Fight State and non-state actors' suppression on the right to expression with democratic mind-set to put them right.
Equal, Secular, Free Compulsory elementary education is the responsibility of the government and the gimmicks with education should be stopped.
Struggle to enact the anti- torture legislation and to ratify the UN convention against torture by India.
We affirm that discrimination based on gender, caste, creed, religion, ethnicity and disability is a major obstacle to meaningful participation of People in political, economic and social field.
We call for patriarchy-free secular India, and support the individual's right to self-determination and development and uphold their duty to national integration.
Demand laws and their enforcement in regard to bonded labour,child labor , sexual harassment, discrimination based on caste & gender and attack on minority.
We resolve for an immediate and effective end to untouchability, the worst form of discrimination and demand interventions as follows to take in politics:
- Programs for the uplift of the Dalits and mechanisms to empower them for defend their rights.
- Reservations(affirmative action), in public as well as the private sector, to ensure participation of all at all levels starting from primary schooling and across all spheres of life.
- Reservations to enable at least 33% representation of women in all spheres of private and public life.
- Discrimination to be considered a real life problem.
- Review of existing laws and modifications to incorporate the implementation of international instruments. http://annihilatecaste.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/SCST_PoA_Act_20_years_report_card-on-PoA-Act.pdf
- To implement the recommendation of report of Sachchar' Committee and Justice Rangnath Mishra on Muslim minority, which is going to benefit to lower caste Muslim.
- Community based planning according to their need based on anthropological development.
- Implement SPECIAL COMPONENT PLAN FOR SCHEDULED CASTES AND TRIBAL SUB-PLAN FOR SCHEDULED TRIBES AND SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITIES (PLANNING, ALLOCATION AND UTILIZATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES) Bill 2013. http://www.ncdhr.org.in/latestinterventions/final-draft-on-scst-legislation-english
We believe the right to food is a fundamental right and must be assured through guarantees to equality in work, justice, uniform minimum wages and land reform.
We advocate that all aid and trade agreements and legal instruments be subject to public scrutiny to ensure their transparency and accountability.
Demand National law for landless agricultural laborers and domestic workers as skill workers.
Ensure purchase of weavers and farmers produce while the 'Public distribution System' prices should be brought at half of present process.
Provide homes to the homeless and provide shelter to the homeless in urban areas.
Rule of law:
The human rights situation in Indian states the PVCHR noted that increasing police power coupled with flourishing feudal social structure in Uttar Pradesh, a vast majority is oppressed on various grounds such as class, caste and gender. Gap is widening between people and police who lacks accountability as a result the victims of police harassment and torture do not get justice.
Police accountability mechanism should be developed and strengthened in order to establish the rule of law.
The absence of proper police accountability promotes crime incidents, communal riots and contributes to public sense of insecurity. Accountability based policing system can put a check on the institutional discrimination.
There should be defined provisions for reparation. Compensation is hardly paid to victims of police accesses. Because nobody is paid and no one pays and therefore police feels free to act in an undemocratic manner. It is therefore required that a compensatory mechanism should be evolved with international standards under which victims of police atrocities and communal onslaughts can be rehabilitated in a place of his or her choice with same economic standards.
Police should be sensitized to respect diverse cultures, traditions and religions. Police personnel should be given on-job training for this purpose and they should also be sensitized towards the culture of human rights.More often police action in any incident is found to be one sided. There is a need to clearly identify the aggressor and the aggrieved. No attempt should be made to target a person belonging to a particular religious community specially the Muslim minority without credible evidences. Indian Police have pre-conceived notions about the Muslims, for instance the notion that Muslim is one such community that is always involved in instigating riots and so on. This mentality provides the space and opportunity to the lower level police officials to act arbitrarily. Such tendency and practice gets further encouragement due to negligence shown by the senior level officers.
For an independent and unbiased functioning of the police, it is highly essential that people from all communities, faith and religion should be recruited in the force. Steps should be taken to develop spirit of secularism among police personnel. A secular police force is crucial for a country which is diverse in culture. Some lessons can be drawn from developed western nations.
Police administration should strictly follow the reformatory steps suggested by various police reform commissions from time to time and the guidelines provided by the Supreme Court of India. Indian police structure is the by-product of British colonial model which needs transformation.
Cases related to death in police custody and death in encounter against the concerned police officials should be registered and investigated in the same manner as it is done in cases related to ordinary citizens who attempt to kill or who has killed someone in self defense. In addition, the responsibility to investigate cases related to death in police custody should be entrusted to an independent and impartial agency.
Court proceedings are a lengthy process which takes many years to ensure justice for the victim. Legal provisions with regards to police custody during the trial period should be clearly defined. Judicial magistrates or judges should be held responsible for not following the due process of law or ignoring the legal process.
Police complaint committees should be officially formed at the district levels which should function as per the guidelines suggested by the police commissions from time to time.
In mostly states of India, police administration there is a common practice of giving out of turn promotions to police officials on the basis of their work performance, this practice should be immediately stopped. The practice has contributed to the culture of false police encounters.
Grievance Redressal Mechanism of State Human Rights Commission should be further strengthened. There should be an impartial body with sufficient man power to investigate the cases of human rights violations.
In cases related to police torture, use of Right to Information Act should be promoted.
Supreme Court of India’s guidelines with regard to bail procedure should be strictly followed. This can help in proving speedy justice to the cases related to arrest and disappearance. This will also help minimize the cases of human rights violations.
In general there is a practice when some people are arrested on the basis of mere suspicion; they are presented before the media during press briefings of senior police officials as a mark of good work by the police. Photographs of such accused are immediately published by the media. But when they are declared innocent and freed, they generally do not figure in media reports. This practice should be immediately stopped.
People should not expect police to achieve more than they can do as per their capabilities. This tendency compels police administration to use illegal methods and practices to achieve desired results.
Repeal the UAPA[ii] immediately.
In sum, PVCHR noted that increasing incidences of human rights violations are a matter of serious concern for Indian society and democracy as a whole. There is a need to reform the functioning of police and improve its image so that faith of the victims and people can be re-established on the justice system in the country.
Contact: PVCHR,SA 4/2 A, Daulatpur,Varanasi-221002,India