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National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

01 December 2015

As the Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu retires on 2 December, the Government is apparently preparing red carpet for him at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) according to several reports, as the post of the chairperson of the NHRC has been vacant since May this year, and only former CJIs are eligible for this high office.

14 November 2014

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson and retired Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan yesterday said overcrowding in Indian prisons can be reduced if the number of undertrials is brought down.

“If a charge sheet is being filed and there is no indication that the accused may influence witnesses or the evidence, what is the reason for keeping him behind bars,” Balakrishnan told IANS on the sidelines of a two-day national seminar on prison reforms.

“Overcrowding of prisons may lead to the violation of various basic human rights of inmates. The prisons are for convicts and not for undertrials,” he said. He also said that steps should be taken to decrease problems in jails. “State governments should invest to build more jails and improve infrastructure,” he said.

He said prisons come under states and the high courts can make a major contribution in directions to state governments on prisoners’ complaints about lack of infrastructure facilities, food, hygiene and healthcare.

NHRC member Justice (retd.) Cyriac Joseph said prisoners were also entitled to basic human rights within the limitations of prisons. Many prison and government officials attended the seminar and informed the participants on the status of the prisons in their respective states.

19 December 2012

A Kerala law student ran in the nude on the streets of Ernakulam, a town near Kochi, demanding the resignation of former chief justice of India KG Balakrishnan from the National Human Rights Commission chair.

The man, identified as studying in Ernakulam Government Law College, covered his face with a piece of cloth and ran naked for half a kilometre before fleeing with an accomplice on a motorcycle with a hidden number plate.

The Ernakulam police claimed they have identified the man and his accomplice, to arrest them. [New Indian Express]