The state government has issued a notification authorising all public prosecutors of sessions courts to act as special public prosecutors for the human rights courts.
The move is aimed at speeding up trials. The notice was issued in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) that had pointed out irregularities and delays in implementing notifications as well as other irregularities,illegalities and violation of law by the members and office bearers of Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC).
A PIL filed by Dombivali businessman Pushkar Damle had alleged irregularities in the MSHRC and urged the Bombay High Court to take action against erring officers. Damle has supported his PIL with information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The PIL states that although the Human Rights Act was amended by the Central government in 2006,the state government is yet to notify the amended Act. Damle also pointed out that other provision of appointing special public prosecutors for conducting the cases of violation of human rights were yet to be appointed.
The PIL also stated that there was delay on the part of the government to set up Human Rights Courts even though the Government Resolution (GR) of declaring all the sessions court as human rights courts as per the provisions of the Protection of Human Right Act,1993,was issued way back in May 2001.
According to his petition, the MSHRC received approximately 31,000 complaints of violation of human rights,out of which the action taken report was received only in eight complaints.
Petition contended that establishment of human rights courts and its functioning was required as the victims has to come all the way from the interior parts of the state by spending money from their own pocket for registering the complaint against the public servants who have violated their rights,while the accused public Servant comes by spending public money to attend the case.
Petitioners advocate Ashish Chavan said that this is a welcome move and will result in speedy justice to the victims as MSHRC has got recommendatory powers whereas human rights courts have got punitive powers. The trial will be conducted on the basis of Criminal Code of procedure,he said.