Centre, states must respect human rights panels: Somnath

Kolkata, Dec 10: Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Tuesday urged central and state governments to show respect to recommendations of human rights commissions, saying the main purpose of forming such panels would be defeated if their recommendations were ignored.

“I feel, conceding to the governments the authority to ignore or defy the commission’s decisions or directions as mere recommendations will strike at the very objective of setting up at such commission,” he said at a programme organised by the West Bengal Human Rights Commission to mark Human Rights Day.

Chatterjee said directives of the national and state human rights panels should not be treated as mere recommendations and cited The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which makes it mandatory for the governments concerned to enforce such decisions.

He urged the state and national human rights commissions to initiate judicial proceedings if their recommendations were not implemented.

“To my mind, the sooner such attitude is changed, the better it is for the country and its citizens.”

IANS