Archive | August, 2017

International Day Against Nuclear Tests 29 August

Posted on 28 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 28th August 2017

Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 have taken place. Early on, having nuclear weapons was seen as a measure of scientific sophistication or military might, with little consideration given to the devastating effects of testing on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.

The human and environmental tragedies that are the result of nuclear testing are compelling reasons for the need to observe the International Day against Nuclear Tests – a day in which educational events, activities and messages aim to capture the world’s attention and underscore the need for unified efforts to prevent further nuclear weapons testing.

The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing is the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), unfortunately, this has yet to enter into force.

On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35. The resolution calls for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.” The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. The Day is meant to galvanize the United Nations, Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, youth networks and the media to inform, educate and advocate the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.

2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Each year, since then, the day has been observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, lectures in academic institutions, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

Since its establishment, many bilateral and multilateral governmental level developments as well as broad movements in civil society have helped to advance the cause of banning nuclear tests.

Moreover, “convinced that nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons are the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of nuclear weapons,” the General Assembly designated 26 September as the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons”, which is devoted to furthering the objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, through the mobilization of international efforts. First proposed in October 2013, the resolution (A/RES/ 68/32) was a follow-up to the high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament held on 26 September 2013 in the UN General Assembly. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed for the first time in September 2014. The International Day against Nuclear Tests, together with other events and actions, has fostered a global environment with more optimistic prospects for a world free of nuclear weapons.

As the Secretary-General recognized in his message to the Conference on Disarmament, the security environment is increasingly complex, but the complexity cannot be an excuse for inaction and cynicism. Although challenges remain, especially in terms of the deteriorating international security environment along with increased military spending and a strategic tilt towards nuclear weapons, there have been visible signs of progress on various fronts in 2017. This was most apparent with the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, consensus on recommendations to the General Assembly by the Open-ended working group on the SSOD-IV, the positive environment at the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference on NPT, and the adoption by the UN Disarmament Commission of a consensus recommendations document after nearly two decades of inactivity.

It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as we work towards promoting peace and security world-wide. As the High Representative Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu remarked at the Annual NATO Conference on WMD Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation on 29 May, 2017, “there is no one path to the elimination of nuclear weapons. We should continue to exert all efforts to bring about other measures to achieve and maintain a nuclear-weapon-free world.” Initiatives such as the International Day against Nuclear Tests are part of the global efforts towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.

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Syria: UNICEF cites conflict’s ’staggering’ impact on children; calls for urgent protection

Posted on 28 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 27th August 2017

25 August 2017 – Six and a half years of war in Syria has inflicted untold suffering on the country’s children, a senior United Nations official said today, urging parties to the conflict to stop the violence and live up to their legal obligations to children.

“The impact of war on children across Syria is staggering,” said Fran Equiza, the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Representative in Syria.

Ongoing and heavy fighting has displaced thousands of families from Raqqa city and Deir-ez-Zor.

“I have just completed a visit to the camps in Areesha, Ein Issa and Mabrouka where I met with displaced children and oversaw UNICEF’s lifesaving efforts on the ground,” continued Ms. Equiza.

“I am overwhelmed by the profoundly traumatising experiences these children have been through. They have endured brutal violence, lost friends and family members,” she elaborated, adding “They are terrified, yet hopeful.”

The UNICEF representative relayed that an 11-year old displaced girl who fled Raqqa told her, “Before we used to play, but then the darkness came.”

According to reports UNICEF is receiving from inside Raqqa city, several thousand children continue to be trapped – caught in the direct line of fire.

With no access for humanitarian agencies, the city is completely cut off from lifesaving assistance.

As the conflict further intensifies, children and families have little or no safe water, while food supplies are running out fast. Moreover, trapped children increasingly risk death and injury.

“Children and families who wish to leave Raqqa city must be allowed to do so in safety and in dignity,” he stressed, adding: “Parties to the conflict must protect them and facilitate safe passage for civilians to move to safety.”

Ms. Equiza underscored that “parties to the conflict must stop the violence all over Syria and live up to their legal obligations to children.”

“All children in Syria, regardless of their location or their families’ affiliation must be protected at all times,” she concluded.

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Razing buildings near airport that violate height norms not a solution: HC

Posted on 28 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 27th August 2017

Mumbai, Aug 27 (PTI) Voicing concern over violation of height norms around city airport, the Bombay High Court has said authorities will have to make a choice between “saving lives of air passengers and life savings” of those living in such buildings.

However, it said that razing buildings violating height norms was not a solution.

A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar made the observation while hearing a PIL filed by activist Yashwant Shenoy, seeking action against structures around the airport that violate height rules.

The HC said authorities will have to make a choice between “saving lives of the thousands of air passengers, and the life savings of a few thousand people” who own such buildings or flats.

In the hearing earlier this week, CJ Chellur said the court could not pass orders directing demolition of such buildings and structures all at once.

“Demolishing everything is not the solution. What will happen to residential buildings that are occupied currently but violate height norms? Who will take the responsibility for the occupants, provide them alternate accommodation?” CJ Chellur asked.

“What does the DGCA propose to do on this?” she sought to know.

The bench said authorities must come up with a “better solution.”

On previous hearings, another bench of the HC had directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to identify and issue notices to all such structures that were found to be contravening the height norms.

In April this year, another bench had directed the DGCA and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to raze around 110 buildings and structures that violated height norms and created obstacles around the approach area of the airport.

At the time, it had also directed the DGCA to issue notices to another 317 structures that had been identified by authorities as obstacles in a survey carried out between 2015 and 2016.

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‘Too difficult’ to stop: Child labour is the inconvenient truth behind India’s growth story

Posted on 26 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 26th August 2017

India is home to one of the highest concentrations of child workers in the world

NEW DELHI — Seventy years ago last week, India gained independence. The country has since created one of the world’s largest economies. But despite its wealth, 33 million children from ages 5 to 18 are working — and almost one third of this group are under 15 according to Save the Children India, making India home to one of the highest concentrations of child workers in the world.

Economic theory suggests that child labour would be all but eradicated by growth and development. But after some successful efforts to increase the number of children in school and to rehabilitate former child workers, the national effort to eliminate the practice is losing momentum and child labour in major cities has increased significantly, according to interviews with more than a dozen child rights groups, academics and international organizations.

“People have dropped the ball,” said Joachim Theis, UNICEF India’s Child Protection Chief from 2013 to 2016. Child labour “is being seen as something which is too difficult” to stop.

Since the election of the pro-growth prime minister, Narendra Modi, in 2014, India has implemented ambitious reforms aimed at deregulating and growing its economy. Under his watch, the country at one point overtook China as the world’s fastest growing economy (although it ceded this position earlier this year), and is predicted to average an impressive real GDP growth of 7.4 per cent this year and next, says a report this month from Deutsche Bank.

But the nation’s development has been segmented, and much of it has not impacted the areas of the economy where children tend to work. “India’s GDP and growth is largely oriented around a highly educated and highly skilled workforce,” said Rajeev Dehejia, professor of public policy at New York University. “This is paradoxical for an economy where most people have a low level of education.”

Conversely, most child labour is concentrated away from the skilled economy, in the informal sector that makes up about 90 per cent of India’s workforce and half of its GDP, according to Credit Suisse estimates. Here, children are not subject to government inspections, legal protections or minimum wage requirements. Such industries include agriculture, small factories for carpets and clothing, brick kilns and domestic staffing.

“It is very under the table,” said Nina Smith, chief executive of GoodWeave International, which works against child labour in global supply chains. “There is a huge workforce that is unregulated, does not really benefit from labour laws, and is highly vulnerable to exploitation.”

The Indian government says that there has been a decline of 45 per cent between 2005 and 2010. But most child rights groups give a more conservative estimate, as government figures do not include all children or all parts of the informal economy.

Some suggest that child labour rates have plateaued in the years since the last census, but with no new national count and the definition of child labour constantly changing, the exact number is unknown. It is a challenge to generate precise figures because of the covert nature of the practice; many children are kept in hidden workplaces, such as employers’ homes and small-scale factories.

Puja Marwaha, chief executive of Child Rights and You, a major Indian nongovernmental organization, said that child labour has redistributed as children have migrated to large cities like Mumbai and Delhi in search of work. To bolster her case, she cites government data showing a 60 per cent increase in the number of children working in Mumbai in the decade leading up to the most recent census in 2011.

Mumbai is not the only case of children moving to cities for work. Across the country as a whole during this period, there was a 54 per cent increase in urban areas in children aged 5 to 14 who are working, UNICEF figures show. (There was also a 27 per cent decrease in rural areas, where most underage work is concentrated.)

Since the 1930s, numerous laws have been introduced banning child work and encouraging education in the country. A 2009 act requiring all children between the ages of 6 and 14 to attend school is one example. In July, the Indian Parliament passed an amendment to existing child labour legislation that imposed a widespread ban on children under 14 working and increased penalties for employers. It also contained a measure allowing children to work in family businesses which, critics say, de facto legalizes much of the child labour across India’s villages.

But such legislative restrictions have little impact in the informal economy, and a culture of impunity makes prosecutions difficult, even where children are treated violently. Only 14.3 per cent of the child trafficking cases sent to trial in 2015 resulted in convictions, for example, according to India’s National Crime Records Bureau.

Many development economists think that eradicating child labour boosts long-term growth, by increasing wages (children tend to be paid less, which depresses average wages) and by creating a more skilled economy.

“There is vast literature showing that child labour impedes development,” said Sandra Polaski, who worked on child labour reforms for India as deputy director-general of the International Labour Organization from 2012 to 2016. “It certainly impedes the development of the individuals affected, but it also impedes the development of the overall economy, because your future workforce is going to be less well educated.”

It also takes jobs from elsewhere in the economy. UNICEF this year calculated global unemployment would be reduced by 200 million, if the world’s 160 million children ages 5 to 14 who are working were sent to school instead.

These predictions apply particularly to India, which has one of the youngest populations in the world, with about half of its citizens aged under 25 – a factor that will allow it to remain one of the world’s largest growing economies.

But economic arguments have not made clamping down on child labour easy, especially in such a highly decentralized and vast country. At the current rate of reduction, Marwaha said, it will take at least a century to get rid of the practice in the world’s largest democracy.

It is also about changing cultural attitudes, she feels.

“The memory of poverty is so close, because many of us in this country grew up in low income households,” she said. “People are not able to say ‘let the child develop his or her potential.’ But these children are not going to have the skills for the future of the country.”

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The Supreme Court just made it easier for you to save lives; here’s how!

Posted on 26 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 26th August 2017

You don’t have to fear police harassment if you report or help an injured accident victim. You don’t even have to reveal personal details unless you wish to testify. Here’s a summary of the “Good Samaritan” guidelines that the apex court has now made compulsory for states to follow.

14 March 2016 – It is difficult to say which of the following distinctions is more dubious: that India has the largest number of road crashes and deaths, or that three out of four people in the country are hesitant to help injured accident victims on roads due to fear of police harassment, detention at hospitals and prolonged legal formalities. The latter was borne out by a survey conducted by Save LIFE Foundation, an independent non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to the cause of improved road safety and emergency care.

However, what is good news is that the unwillingness or hesitancy of passers-by could well change now after the Supreme Court has made it binding on all states and Union Territories to implement the “Good Samaritan” guidelines, the basic premise of which is that there should be no civil or criminal liability attached to an individual who comes forward to report an accident or help an injured accident victim.

A brief timeline of relevant developments

In 2012, Save LIFE Foundation had filed a PIL, looking to have in place a set of guidelines to protect Good Samaritans from harassment, intimidation and coercion, and also ensure effective trauma services across the country.

In October 2013, the Supreme Court appointed a committee under the chairmanship of the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, to study in detail the issues mentioned in this PIL and submit a final report to the Court on the same.

The recommendations made in this report pertaining to the protection of Good Samaritans was explicitly supported by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in an affidavit in October 2014.

Shortly thereafter, the apex court directed both the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to issue necessary directions with regard to the protection of Good Samaritans until appropriate legislation was enacted by the Union Legislature.

On 12 May, 2015 the Government of India had issued detailed guidelines for protection of Good Samaritans and on 22 January, 2016 it issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to protect Good Samaritans from police harassment.

However, given that these SOPs had no statutory backing and were merely advisory in nature, it was difficult to implement the same and fear persisted among bystanders that the guidelines could well be flouted. However, on 4 March 2016, at a hearing of the petition, the Supreme Court clearly stated that it would now be binding on all States and Union Territories of India.

This is significant because the court order now makes the guidelines as good as law. Non-compliance will be treated as contempt of Supreme Court.

What do the guidelines state?

The Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Ministry in January 2016, which all states and UTs must now follow, clearly state (among other things) that:

Any person, except in the capacity of an eyewitness, can call the Police Station or Control Room to give information about any accidental injury or death, without revealing his personal details such as full name, address, phone number etc.

The police, even upon arrival at the scene, cannot compel the Good Samaritan to reveal such details

Any Good Samaritan who helps an injured person cannot be forced by the Police to become a witness in the matter; whether or not he wants to become a witness in the matter shall solely rest with him.

In case a Good Samaritan chooses to be a witness, the investigation will be conducted as far as possible at a time and place of his convenience and by an Investigating Officer in plain clothes.

If this cannot be done, and the Good Samaritan is required by the Investigation Officer to visit the police station, the officer must give reasons for the same in writing.

Where the Good Samaritan himself chooses to visit a police station as a witness, he shall be examined in a single examination in a reasonable and time-bound manner, without causing any undue delay.

Under no circumstances should the Good Samaritan, whether as a witness or merely a reporter, be discriminated on the grounds of gender, religion, nationality, caste or any other grounds.

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Jallikattu: Human Rights Panel Sends Notice To Tamil Nadu Government Over Police Violence

Posted on 26 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 25th August 2017

NEW DELHI:  The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Tamil Nadu government and the state police over reports of “unprovoked excesses” committed by the forces in quelling the pro-Jallikattu protests in Chennai.
The NHRC today said it has issued the notices to the Chief Secretary, Chennai Police Commissioner and Director General of Police of the state, and sought reports in the matter in two weeks.
The Commission in a statement said that it has taken its own view based on media reports, that after the passage of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the state Assembly, “police, without any prior caution, resorted to beating, arresting and damaging private property in order to disperse a large number of people gathered at landmark places in Chennai in support of Jallikattu.”

Violence had broken out in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu as police cracked down on protesters, even as the six-day long “Marina uprising” was called off yesterday after the state Assembly passed a bill to replace the ordinance, thereby allowing the banned bull-taming spot of Jallikattu.

The Commission observed that “unprovoked police action amounts to violation of human rights.”
“The people of Tamil Nadu, particularly in Chennai, had been conducting protests over a week demanding conducting of the bull-taming sport, associated with ‘Pongal’ festival reflecting Tamil culture.

“All through, the protest was peaceful… The visuals on television news channels showed that police set on fire the huts, autos, motorcycles, vegetable shops on streets and other properties in interior streets in Chennai,” the NHRC statement said.

“Students ran for their lives. Police even entered into the houses and started beating people indiscriminately. The police blocked major routes leading to Marina Beach as well as Chennai city,” it added.

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28 dead, 250 injured in Panchkula violence after Dera verdict

Posted on 26 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 25th August 2017

Panchkula (Har), Aug 25 (PTI) At least 28 people were killed and 250 injured today in widespread violence, arson and police firing triggered by the rape conviction of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Thousands of followers of Ram Rahim, who is the head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, went on the rampage, setting fire to vehicles, buildings and railway stations soon after a special CBI court convicted him in a 2002 rape case.

Police responded by opening fire.

The unrest which began in Panchkula where the verdict was handed down, spread to other parts of Haryana and Punjab and even New Delhi where a bus and train were set on fire.

“Seventeen people are dead and at least 200 are injured,” said Vivek Bhadu, Chief Medical Officer at the civil hospital in Panchkula. Another seven deaths were recorded at PGIMER hospital in Chandigarh and four at Government Medical College in Chandigarh, officials said.

Bhadu said that most of the deaths were due to bullet injuries.

Haryana DGP B S Sandhu, who visited the civil hospital at Sector 6 here, said that over a thousand Dera followers have been taken into custody.

“Dera followers have been flushed out of Panchkula while over a thousand have been taken into preventive custody,” Sandhu said, adding the situation here is under control.

A stream of ambulances brought in injured people soaked in blood to the civil hospital here and at PGIMER hospital.

Police fired in the air, lobbed tear gas and let loose water cannons on the protesters who included a large number of women.

Curfew was also clamped in Panchkula.

Curfew is also in place in Sirsa while Kaithal town was also brought under curfew this evening.

At least 32 incidents of violence and arson were reported from Malwa region of Punjab, police said. However, no casualty was reported.

Curfew was clamped in Mansa, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Patiala, Sangrur and Barnala and Faridkot, the areas considered as stronghold of the Dera followers.

But the curfew had little effect on the protesters, who also set fire to Malout and Balluanna railway stations in Punjab, according to the Northern Railways. Many motorcycles, cars and buildings, including an Income Tax building in Mansa in Punjab, were also set on fire.

Arsonists attempted to set fire to Dagru railway station which falls between Moga and Ferozepur, police said.

However, a Sewa Kendra was set on fire near Faridkot.

Six columns of Army, comprising a total of 500 to 600 soldiers were deployed in Panchkula.

At least three OB vans of private television channels were damaged here. Two vans were overturned by a mob.

The India Today Group’s TV channel showed pictures of its correspondent and cameraman being attacked while they were travelling in a van in Sirsa, the Dera’s headquarters. The camera captured images of the windshield and windows being struck by men with sticks.

The glass shattered and one of the occupants of the van was heard moaning. The video then showed his bloodied face.

The police fired in the air and lobbed tear gas shells on sections of the crowds, many of them camping since last night on the streets of Panchkula.

CBI judge Jagdeep Singh, while holding the Dera chief guilty of raping a female follower more than 15 years ago, said the quantum of sentence would be pronounced on August 28.

The punishment can be a jail term of not less than seven years but may even extend to life imprisonment.

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SC declares right to privacy as Fundamental right

Posted on 24 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 24th August 2017

New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI) In a landmark decision that will affect the lives of all Indians, the Supreme Court today unanimously declared that right to privacy was a Fundamental right under the Constitution.

A nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ruled that “right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution”.

The ruling on the highly contentious issue was to deal with a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes.

While the Centre had argued that right to privacy is not a Fundamental right, the petitioners had contended that when a citizen gives his biometrics and personal details to the government and when in turn it is used by commercial organisations, it is a breach of privacy.

The judgement was limited to the issue of right to privacy and the question whether Aadhaar violates right to privacy will be dealt with the five-judge bench which has been hearing the petitions since 2015.

In today’s judgement, other members of the bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K Agrawal, R F Nariman, A M Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, S K Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer also shared the same view.

The nine judges unanimously overruled the two earlier judgements of the apex court that right to privacy is not protected under the Constitution.

The bench overruled the M P Sharma verdict of 1950 and that of Kharak Singh of 1960.

The judgement in the Kharak Singh case was pronounced by eight judges and in M P Sharma it was delivered by six judges.

Justice Khehar, who read the operative portion of the judgement, said the subsequent verdicts pronounced after M P Sharma and Kharak Singh have laid down the correct position of the law.

Before pronouncing the judgement, the CJI said that among the nine judges some of them have authored different orders.

The verdict was reserved after hearing marathon arguments for six days over a period of three weeks, during which submissions were advanced in favour and against the inclusion of the right to privacy as a fundamental right.

The high-voltage hearing saw a battery of senior lawyers, including Attorney General K K Venugopal, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Arvind Datar, Kapil Sibal, Gopal Subaramaniam, Shyam Divan, Anand Grover, C A Sundaram and Rakesh Dwivedi, advancing arguments either in favour or against the inclusion of right to privacy as a fundamental right.

Petitioners include former Karnataka High Court judge Justice K S Puttaswamy, first Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Magsaysay award recipient Shanta Sinha, feminist researcher Kalyani Sen Menon and others who have challenged the validity of the Aadhaar scheme on grounds of it being violative of the right to privacy.

Initially, on July 7, a three-judge bench had said that all issues arising out of Aadhaar should finally be decided by a larger bench and the CJI would take a call on the need for setting up a constitution bench.

The matter was then mentioned before CJI Khehar who set up a five-judge constitution bench to hear the matter.

However, the five-judge constitution bench on July 18 decided to set up a nine-judge bench to decide whether the right to privacy can be declared a fundamental right under the Constitution.

The decision to set up the nine-judge bench was taken to examine the correctness of two apex court judgements delivered in the cases of Kharak Singh and M P Sharma in which it was held that this right was not a fundamental right.

While reserving the verdict, the bench had voiced concern over the possible misuse of personal information in the public domain and said that protection of the concept of privacy in the all-pervading technological era was a “losing battle”.

During the arguments earlier, the bench had observed that the right to privacy cannot be an absolute right and the state may have some power to put reasonable restrictions.

The Attorney General had also contended that right to privacy cannot fall in the bracket of fundamental rights as there were binding decisions of larger benches that it was only a common law right evolved through judicial decisions.

The Centre had termed privacy as a “vague and amorphous” right which cannot be granted primacy to deprive poor people of their rights to life, food and shelter.

The high-profile arguments also saw the apex court asking searching questions about the contours of right to privacy in the digital age when personal information was randomly shared with all types of government and private entities.

The bench had wanted to know about the tests which could be used to regulate and enforce privacy right when there could be “legitimate or illegitimate” use of data.

Meanwhile, the petitioners had contended that the right to privacy was “inalienable” and “inherent” to the most important fundamental right which is the right to liberty.

They had said that right to liberty, which also included right to privacy, was a pre-existing “natural right” which the Constitution acknowledged and guaranteed to the citizens in case of infringement by the state.

The apex court had favoured overarching guidelines to protect private information in public domain and said there was a need to “maintain the core of privacy” as the notion of privacy was fast becoming irrelevant in an all-pervading technological era.

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Human Rights Body Asks Top Cop To Submit Report Into Jharkhand Killings

Posted on 24 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 24th August 2017

The National Human Rights Commission said that a civilised society cannot allow such heinous crimes where human lives are taken by angry mob merely on suspicion

JHARKHAND:  The Director General of Police (DGP) in Jharkhand has been issued a notice by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) demanding details into the alleged killing of seven men by an angry mob over suspicion of being child-lifters in the state. DGP DK Pandey has four weeks to submit the report.

Seven people were beaten to death by a violent mob in two separate incidents in Jharkhand’s Singhbhum district, police said.
Rumours circulated on WhatsApp, according to the police, led to the “unfortunate and unprecedented” incidents.

Of the seven victims, Vikas Kumar Verma, Gautam Kumar Verma and Gangesh Gupta, were beaten to death in Nagadih. An elderly woman was also brutally assaulted in the incident. Whereas four people were killed in Shobhapur and Sosomouli villages after locals suspected them to be members of a kidnapping gang, a senior cop said.

The last images of one of the victims in Shobhapur, Mohammed Naeem, show him lying on the road soaked in blood and pleading for his life.

“A civilised society cannot allow such heinous crimes to occur where human lives are taken by angry mob merely on suspicion of them being anti-social elements,” the NHRC said in a strongly-worded statement.

On Saturday, hundreds of villagers clashed with the police in Jamshedpur to protest against the killings. Cops had to resort to lathi-charge and use of tear gas to control angry protesters.
The commission also rebuked the state police for failing to maintain law and order. “The incidents amount to violation of right to life of the innocent victims targeted by the perpetrators. The law enforcing agencies of the state have certainly failed to perform their lawful duty,” it said.

The commission has also asked for suggestions and preventive measures that can be taken to ensure that such incidents do not reoccur,” the NHRC added.

Reacting strongly to the incident, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das directed authorities to identify and act against the accused.

The cops are trying to find the origin of the WhatsApp messages and claim to have identified suspects. So far, 18 people have been arrested for the killings and the violent clashes that broke out in their aftermath.

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32 Convicts Allegedly Tortured At Bengaluru Jail In Sasikala Controversy

Posted on 24 August 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 24th August 2017

BENGALURU:  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to two top Karnataka prison officials taking cognisance of a complaint about alleged torture and transfer of 32 convicts serving terms in the Central Prison.

An NHRC release said the complaint alleged the prisoners were beaten black-and-blue and shifted overnight (on July 16) in an injured condition to various other prisons at Mysore, Ballari, Belagavi and Davanagere.

According to the complaint, lodged on Monday by BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, the family members of these prisoners were not being allowed to meet them.

The complaint was filed a day after the prisoners, in a sudden move, were shifted at around 1 am to jails in Ballari and Belagavi for allegedly trying to voice their grievances.

The commission observed that the allegations of physical torture of the prisoners and their overnight transfer to other jails in an injured condition, if true, raised a serious issue of violation of their right to life and dignity.

It issued notices to Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) and Inspector General (IG), Prisons, asking them to file within four weeks a detailed report on the allegations, along with a note on the current location and health condition of the “injured and shifted” prisoners.

“It need not be restated that a prisoner is not a slave of the State and is not denude of his fundamental rights while in judicial custody,” the release said.

Allegedly, the prisoners were meted out this “inhuman” treatment because of their bid to stage a dharna inside the jail premises as they were not allowed to speak to (then) DIG (Prisons) D Roopa, who had visited the jail, it added.

DIG Roopa had recently flagged certain “grave irregularities” inside the Central Jail, including providing a sophisticated kitchen to one of the prisoners, (AIADMK Amma chief) V Sasikala, and VIP treatment to another prisoner, Abdul Karim Lala Telgi, the release said.

The issue of alleged preferential treatment to Sasikala, serving a four-year term in a disproportionate assets case, came to the fore after Roopa submitted a report to her superior, DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao.

Both DIG Roopa and DGP Rao were transferred after they sparred over the report in public.

The government has also ordered a probe by a retired official into the allegations.

The release said that according to the complaint, the 32 prisoners were allegedly shifted in a hasty manner in order to avoid any disclosure to the inquiry officer.

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