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A.K. Singh (Ex. Sikkim Govt. Service)

B.Sc. P.G. Diploma in Human Rights

Designation : National President (NHRLA)

He is an energetic and self motivated person, having more than 20 (ten) years experience in the field of Human Rights protection. He says that the human rights movement has always a brighter prospect if the people of India are assured by their right to information. They must know what is happening around them. Such a mechanism to ensure right to know if rightly developed and ensure both promotion and protection of human rights and prevention of their violation. In the field of civil liverties, some material improvements have been brought about in the post-independence period. The higher judiciary, the free press and the voluntary non-governmental organizations have succeeded to considerable extent in protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of the people. The broader interpretation given by the Supreme Court to Article 14 (equality before the law) and Article 21 liberty of the person and of the life of individuals and the system of Public Interest Litigation have succeeded to a noticeable extent in establishing the rule of law and checking the arbitrary behavior of politicians and public authorities. Of course, there are still many shortcomings in the attainment of civil liberties.

The poorer sections of society are still subjected to police torture during the investigation into offences, sometimes resulting in custodial deaths. Child labour and bonded labour remain in many areas, despite the law passed to prevent them.

The right to information is still a right only on paper and legislation in that regard is yet to be passed. Legislation is also necessary for protecting the right to privacy. But most to these matters are being handled by civil rights organizations and there is reason to believe that these shortcomings will be progressively removed. Turning to political rights, other thatn civil liberties, franchisee has been extended to all persons above the age of 18 years. Elections are still far from free and fair, but there is a strong demand for electoral reforms and an enactment for that purpose is on the anvil. People’s participation in the governance of the country is likely to be gradually extended on account of the panchayat system made compulsory by the 73rd constitutional amendment and municipalities with ward committees ‘ by the 74th constitutional amendment. Panchayats and municipalities will be initially dominated by political and economic vested interests, but there is reason to believe that the growing awakening among the people with the work of voluntary organizations will result in more power going into the hands of the unpriviledged majority, first in rural areas and then in towns and cities. In fact, the empowerment of the people, particularly in gram panchayats, should now be the main work of voluntary non-governmental organizations.

 

 

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