The Punjab State Human Rights
Commission is an expression of state's concern for the
protection and promotion of human rights. It came into
being in March 1997.
What functions have been assigned
to the Commission under the act?
The Commission shall, perform all or
any of the following functions, namely :-
Inquire, on its own initiative or
on a petition presented to it by a victim or any
person on his behalf, into complaint of-....
i.. violation of human rights or
abetment thereof or....
ii. negligence in the prevention
of such violation by, a public servant ;
intervene in any proceeding
involving any allegation of violation of human
rights pending before a court with the approval of
visit, under intimation to the
State Government, any jail or any other institution
under the control of the State Government, where
persons are detained or lodged for purposes of
treatment, reformation or protection to study the
living conditions of the inmates and make
Review the safeguards provided by
or under the Constitution or any law for the time
being in force for the protection of human rights
and recommend measures for their effective
Review the factors, including
acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of
human rights and recommend appropriate remedial
Study treaties and other
international instruments on human rights and make
recommendations for their effective implementation;
Undertake and promote research in
the field of human rights;
Spread human rights literacy
among various sections of society and promote
awareness of the safeguards available for the
protection of these rights through publications, the
media, seminars and other available means;
Encourage the efforts of
non-governmental organisations and institutions
working in the field of human rights;
Such other functions as it may
consider necessary for the promotion of human
What powers have been vested with
the Commission relating to inquires?
While inquiring into complaints under
the Act, the Commission shall have all the powers of a
civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908, and in particular the following,
Summoning and enforcing the
attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
Discovery and production of any
Receiving evidence on affidavits;
Requisitioning any public record
or copy thereof from any court or office;
Issuing commissions for the
examination of witnesses or documents;
Any other matter which may be
Does the Commission have its own
Yes. The Commission has its own
investigating staff for investigation into complaints of
human rights violations. Under the Act, it is open to
the Commission to utilise the services of any officer or
investigation agency of the Central Government or any
State Government with the concurrence of the center
government or the State Government.
Is the Commission autonomous?
Yes. The autonomy of the Commission
derives, inter-alia, from the method of appointing its
Members, their fixity of tenure, and statutory
guarantees thereto, the status they have been accorded
and the manner in which the staff responsible to the
Commission - including its investigative agency - will
be appointed and conduct themselves. The financial
economy of the Commission is spelt out in Section 32 and
33 of the Act.
The Chairperson and Members of the
Commission are appointed by the Governor on the basis of
recommendations of a Committee comprising the Chief
Minister as the Chairperson, the Speaker of the
legislative assembly, the minister in charge of the
Department of Home in the State, the leaders of the
opposition in the Legislative assembly as Members.
How does the Commission inquire
The Commission while inquiring into
complaints of violations of human rights may call for
information or report from the Central Government or
State Government or any other authority or organization
subordinate thereto within such time as may be specified
by it; provided that if the information or report is not
received within the time stipulated by the Commission,
it may proceed to inquire into the complaint on its own;
On the other hand, if, on receipt of information or
report, the Commission is satisfied either that no
further inquiry is required or that the required action
has been initiated or taken by the concerned Government
or authority, it may not proceed with the complaint and
inform the complainant accordingly.
What steps are open to the
Commission after inquiry?
The Commission may take any of the
following steps upon the completion of an inquiry:
Where the inquiry discloses the
commission of violation of human rights or
negligence in the prevention of violation of human
rights by a public servant, it may recommend to the
concerned Government or authority the initiation of
proceedings for prosecution or such other action as
the Commission may deem fit against the concerned
person or persons;
Approach the Supreme Court or the
High Court concerned for such directions, orders or
writs as that Court may deem necessary;
Recommend to the concerned
Government or authority for the grant of such
immediate interim relief to the victim or the
members of his family as the Commission may consider
Can the complaint be in any
They may be in Punjabi or English .
However, the State Commission may entertain complaint in
any other language. The complaints are expected to be
self contained. No fee is charged on complaints. The
Commission may ask for further information and
affidavits to be filed in support of allegations
whenever considered necessary. The Commission may, in
its discretion, accept telegraphic complaints and
complaints conveyed through FAX.
What kind of complaints are not
entertained by the Commission?
Ordinarily, complaints of the
following nature are not entertained by the Commission.
Commission shall not inquire into any matter after the
expiry of one year from the date on which the act
constituting violation of human rights is alleged to
have been committed.
Commission shall not inquire into any matter which is
pending before any other commission duly constituted
under law. For the time being in force.
Matters which are vague or anonymous
Matters of frivolous or trivial nature
Personal matters like disputes between landlord and
tenant, conjugal disputes, disputes relating to property
inheritance, partitions etc.
Violation of human rights by members of Central Armed
Forces (they may be looked into by the National Human
Rights Commission under section 19 of the Act)
allegations are not against any public servant of the
allegations do not make out any specific violation of
matter is covered by a judicial verdict/decision of the
When the matter is outside the purview of the State
Commission on any other ground.
What is the responsibility of the
authority/State Governments to which
report/recommendations have been sent by the Commission?
The authority/State Government has to
indicate its comments/action taken on the
report/recommendations of the Commission within a period
of one month in respect of general complaints.
What is the composition of the
To know the composition of the Commission Pls check the
Member section of this website or click the link below:-
Chairperson & Members
Where is the Commission located and
what are its contact numbers?
PUNJAB STATE HUMAN
SCO NO. 20-21-22, SECTOR 34A,
CHANDIGARH 160 034, India
Ph. : 91-172-3029610, 91-172-3029611,