ASSAM HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (PROCEDURE) REGULATIONS
In the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section 10 read with Section 29 of the Protection of Human Rights ct, 1993(No 10 of 1994), the Assam Human Rights Commission hereby makes the following regulations:
CHAPTER I - GENERAL
CHAPTER II - INQUIRY INTO COMPLAINT
CHAPTER III - MEETING OF THE COMMISSION
CHAPTER IV - ANNUAL AND SPECIAL REPORTS
CHAPTER V - MISCELLANEOUS
1. Short Title and Commencement
- These Regulations may be called the Assam Human Rights Commission(Procedure) Regulations 2001
- They shall come into force with effect from the 1st day of September, 2001
In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, -
- “Act” means the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
- “Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Commission
- “Commission” means the Assam Human Rights Commission.
- “Complaint” means all petitions or communications received by the Commission from a victim or any other person on his behalf, in person or any other person on his behalf, in person or by post or by telegram or by fax or by any other means whatsoever, alleging violation or abetment thereof or negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant, of all or any of the human rights defined in section 2(d) of the Act.
- “Division Bench” means a Bench consisting of two members of the Commission as constituted by the Chairperson.
- “Full Bench” means a Bench consisting of three or more members of the Commission as constituted by the Chairperson.
- “Member” means a member of the Commission and includes the Chairperson.
- “Registrar” means Registrar of the Commission, and includes Assistant Registrar.
- “Regulation” means the Regulations framed by the Commission.
- “Secretary” means Secretary of the Commission and includes Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary.
- “Single Bench” means a Bench consisting of one member of the Commission as constituted by the Chairperson.
- Words and expressions not defined in these regulations shall, to the extent defined in the Act, have the same meaning as assigned to them therein.
3. Headquarters of the Commission
The headquarters of the Commission shall be located at Guwahati.
4. Venue of Meetings & Sittings
The Commission shall ordinarily hold its meetings and sittings in its office located at Guwahati. However, it may, in its discretion, hold its meetings and sittings at any other place in Assam if it considers it necessary and expedient.
5. Periodicity of Meetings & Sittings
The Commission shall normally have its regular sittings on the Judicial side at least four days a week and the meetings on the administrative and other issues shall be held in the first and third week of each month. However, the Chairperson by himself or at the instance of one or more members may hold a special meeting to consider any urgent issue. Such meetings shall be held within one week of the issue being brought to the notice of the Chairperson.
6. Investigation Team
The Commission shall have its own team of investigation to be headed by a person not below the rank of an Inspector-General of Police appointed by it and such team shall consist of such other categories of officers as the Commission from time to time decides. The Commission may in any given case appoint an appropriate number of outsiders to be associated with the investigation either as Investigators or Observers.
INQUIRY INTO COMPLAINT
7. Procedure for dealing with complaints
- All complaints in whatever form received by the Commission shall be registered and assigned a number and placed for admission as per the special or general directions of the Chairperson before a Single Member Bench constituted for the purpose, not later than one week of receipt thereof. If the Single-Member Bench dealing with the case, either for admission or for final disposal, having regard to the importance of the issues involved, is of the opinion that the case should be heard by a Bench of not less than two members, he may refer the case to a Bench of two members. On receipt of the reference, the case shall be assigned to a Bench of two or more members, as may be constituted by the Chairperson.
- Ordinarily complaints of the following nature are not entertainable by the Commission –
- in regard to events which happened more than one year before the making of complaints, that is, barred under section 36(2) of the Act;
- matter is covered by judicial verdict or decision of the Commission;
- which are vague, anonymous or pseudonymous;
- which are of frivolous nature;
- those which are outside the purview of the Commission;
- barred under section 36(1) of the Act;
- illegible ;
- allegation is not against any public servant ;
- the issue raised relates to civil dispute such as property rights, contractual obligations and the like;
- the issue raised relates to service matter not touching the human right violation or abetment thereto; or negligence in the prevention of such violation;
- the issue raised relates to labour / industrial dispute;
- matter is sub judice before a court/ tribunal.
- No fee is chargeable on complaints.
- Every attempt should be made to disclose a complete picture of the matter leading to the complaint and the same may be made in English or Assamese to enable the Commission to take immediate action. To facilitate the filing of complaints the Commission shall, however, entertain complaints in any language officially recognized in Assam. It shall be open to the Commission to ask for further information and affidavits to be filled in support of allegations whenever considered necessary.
- The Commission shall have power to dismiss a complaint in limine.
- Upon admission of a complaint, the Chairperson or Commission shall direct whether the matter would be set down for inquiry by it or should be investigated into.
- On every complaint on which a decision is taken by the Chairperson of Commission to either hold an inquiry or investigation, the Secretariat shall call for reports or comments from the concerned Government or authority giving the latter a reasonable time therefor.
- On receipt of the comments of the concerned authority, a detailed note on the merits of the case shall be prepared for consideration of the Commission.
- The directions and recommendations of the Commission shall be communicated to the concerned government or authority and the petitioner as provided for in section 18 of the Act.
- The Commission may, in its discretion, afford a personal hearing to the petitioner or any other person on his behalf and such other person or persons as in the opinion of the Commission should be heard for appropriate disposal of the matter before it and, where necessary, call for records and examine witnesses in connection with it. The Commission shall afford a reasonable hearing including opportunity of cross examining witnesses, if any, in support of the complaint and leading of evidence in support of his stand, to a person whose conduct is inquired into by it or where in its opinion the reputation of such person is likely to be prejudicially affected.
- Where investigation is undertaken by the team of the Commission or by any other person under its direction, the report shall be submitted within a week of its completion or such further time as the Commission may allow. The Commission may, in its discretion, direct further investigation in a given case if the Commission is of the opinion that investigation has not been proper or the matter requires further investigation for ascertaining the truth or enabling it to properly dispose of the matter. On receipt of the report, the Commission on its own motion, or if moved in the matter, may direct inquiry to be carried by it and receive evidence in course of such inquiry.
- The Commission or any of its Members when requested by the Chairperson may undertake visits for an on-the spot study and where such a study is undertaken by one or more members, a report thereon shall be furnished to the Commission as early as possible.
8. Cause List
When matters are set down only for judicial matters, cause list of the day of sitting shall be prepared and circulated.
9. Recording of Orders or Proceeding
Ordinarily orders of the Commission shall be recorded in the order sheet, provided that the orders which are lengthy shall be recorded on separate sheets and appended to the order sheet.
10. Preliminary consideration, issue of notice, etc.
- If on consideration of the complaint, the Commission dismisses the complaint in limine, the said order shall be communicated to the complainant in Form No I and the case shall be treated as closed.
- If on consideration of the complaint the Commission admits or takes cognizance and direct issue of notice to any authority calling upon it to furnish information or report, a notice in Form II shall be issued, enclosing a copy of the complainant thereto. Such notice shall be signed by the Secretary or the Registrar.
- Whenever the Commission directs to summon :-
- the complainant or any other person on his behalf to afford him a personal hearing;
- any other person who, in the opinion of the Commission, should be heard for appropriate disposal of the matter before it;
- any person to cause production of records required by the Commission;
- any person to be examined as witness;
- any person whose conduct is inquired into by it; or
- any person whose reputation, in the opinion of the Commission, is likely to be prejudicially affected;
a summon indicating the purpose of summoning such person shall be issued as is prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure.
- The case in which summons has been issued for personal appearance of a person shall be place before the Commission on the date shown in the summons for such personal appearance.
12. Report on Complaints and Inquiries
Every report to which section 18 of the Act applies shall be sent to the State Government, authority or person, as the case may be, within one week of completion of the proceedings before the Commission and on receipt of the comments of the State Government or authority, the Commission shall publish the report in the manner provided in section 18(6) of the Act, within one week of the receipt of the appropriate intimation.
No party shall have a right to seek review of the order or proceedings of the Commission. However, if any application seeking review or modification of the order or proceedings passed by the Commission is received, the same shall be placed before the same Bench, which made the order along with the case file and the same shall be disposed of by such order as may be deemed proper.
14. Procedure regarding Suo-Motu Action
The procedure contained in these Regulations shall mutatis mutandis apply to suo-motu action taken by the Commission.
MEETING OF THE COMMISSION
15. Secretariat Assistance
The Secretary along with such other officers of the Commission as may be directed by the Chairperson, or considered necessary, shall attend the meetings of the Commission.
The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Chairperson, prepare the agenda for each meeting of the Commission and shall cause notes thereon to be prepared by the Secretariat. Such notes shall, as far as possible, be self-contained. Specific files covering the agenda items shall be made readily available to the Commission for reference. The agenda papers shall ordinarily be circulated to the Members at least two clear days in advance of every meeting.
The quorum necessary for the transaction of business at a meeting shall be of 2(two) members. If at any meeting there is no quorum, the meeting shall stand adjourned to some future date to be appointed by the Chairperson.
18. Decision at a Meeting
Every question considered at a meeting of the Commission shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting. The Chairperson may or may not vote as a Member, but the Chairperson shall have and exercise casting of vote in case of an equality of votes.
19. Minutes of the Meeting
- The minutes of each meeting of the Commission shall be recorded during the meeting itself or immediately thereafter by the Secretary or by any other officer as directed by the Chairperson. Such minutes shall be submitted to the Chairperson for its approval and upon approval, be circulated to all the Members of the Commission at the earliest and in any case, sufficiently before the commencement of the next meeting.
- The conclusions of the Commission in every matter undertaken by it shall be recorded in the form of an opinion. Dissenting opinions, if given, shall form part of and be kept on record. Action shall be taken on the basis of the majority opinion where there be any difference.
- Follow-up action: Unless specifically authorized, no action shall be taken by the Secretariat of the Commission on the minutes of the meeting until the same are approved(otherwise known as confirmation) in the subsequent meeting.
20. Record of Minutes
A master copy of the minutes of every meeting and resolutions of the Commission shall be maintained duly authenticated by the Secretary and a copy of the minutes pertaining to each item shall be added to the relevant file for appropriate action. Opinions shall be kept in the respective records and for convenience, copies thereof with appropriate indexing shall be kept in guard files.
21. Report of Action Taken
Report of follow-up action shall be submitted to the Commission at every subsequent sitting indicating therein the present stage of action on each item on which the Commission had taken decision in any of its earlier meetings, excepting the items on which no further action is called for.
ANNUAL AND SPECIAL REPORTS
22. Annual Report
The Commission shall furnish its annual report for the period from 1 January to 31 December to the State Government was provided in Section 28(1) of the Act. The original report shall be signed by the Chairperson and members of the Commission and appropriately preserved and duly authenticated copy shall be sent to the State Government by end of February of every year.
23. Special Report
The Commission may furnish such special reports on specific matters as may be considered necessary in terms of Section 28(1) of the Act.
24. Printing of the Report
The Secretariat of the Commission shall be responsible for the printing of the Annual Report and Special Reports with utmost expedition and in any case, not later than three months of finalization of the same.
25. Transaction of business outside the Headquarters
The Commission or some of the members may transact business at places outside its headquarters as and when previously approved by the Chairperson, provided that if parties are to be heard in connection with any inquiry under the Act, at least two members shall constitute the bench of the Commission for such purpose.
26. Authentication of orders and decisions
- Orders and decisions of the Commission shall be authenticated by the Secretary or any officer of the Commission(authorized by the Chairperson) not below the rank of an Under Secretary.
- Copies of Inquiry reports or orders passed finally disposing of matters by the Commission shall be furnished free of cost to the petitioner or his representative.
- Unless any document is classified by the Commission as confidential, copy thereof would be available to the parties in the matter on payment of a reasonable fee raised to meet the cost. Every effort should be made to provide the copies with utmost expedition and, in any case, not later than one week of the date of request.
27. Mode of Communication
Unless otherwise ordered, all communications from the Commission shall be sent by ordinary post.
28. Residuary Power
Nothing in these regulations shall be deemed to affect the power of the Chairperson to make such orders, from time to time as he may deem fit in regard to all matters incidental or ancillary to these regulations not specifically provided for herein or in regard to matters as have not been sufficiently provided for.
29. Repeal and savings
- The Assam Human Rights Commission (Procedure) Regulations, 1996, is hereby repealed.
- Notwithstanding such repeal, anything or any action taken under Assam Human Rights Commission(Procedure) Regulations, 1996, shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of these Regulations.