Judicial, police custody deaths highest in UP: Human Rights panel

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh has registered highest number of cases of custodial deaths in the country between October 2015 and September this year, with as many as 401 deaths taking place in judicial custody and 27 in policy custody, the National Human Rights Commission said on Friday.

“Uttar Pradesh, with 401 cases topped the list of cases of judicial custody deaths as well as in the list of cases of deaths in police custody with 27 cases,” NHRC Chairperson Justice H L Dattu was quoted as saying in a statement.

Earlier, addressing a press conference to mark the foundation day of the rights watchdog, he said since its inception in 1993, the NHRC has come a long way by addressing several issues of human rights violations as well as giving inputs on key legislations impacting human rights.

The NHRC had faced criticism from a section of civil society and NGOs for it report on the on-spot inquiry of migration issue in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh which is going to polls next year.

Justice Dattu said, the Commission “has received the response of the Uttar Pradesh government on the Kairana issue, and the report would be placed before the full commission, which would discuss, deliberate and take the final decision in it.”

“Over a lakh complaints have been received in the Commission which indicates not only the increasing faith of the people in its functioning but also their awareness about the importance of promotion and protection of human rights,” the statement said.

“During the period (October 2015 and September 2016), maximum 32,498 complaints were registered against police, out of which 206 cases were of encounter.

“Chhattisgarh with 66 encounter cases, topped the list followed by 43 in Assam, 15 in Jharkhand, 10 in Odisha, 7 each in Maharashtra and Meghalaya, 5 each in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. West Bengal with 11 cases, topped the list of registered cases of encounter by Para-Military forces,” it said.

Between October, 2015 and September, 2016, the NHRC has registered 1,05,664 cases on the basis of complaints, intimation from police and prison authorities etc. and on suo motu basis. The number of cases registered during the period on suo motu basis is 133. During the corresponding period in 2014-15 and 2013-14, it registered 1,17,477 and 1,06,684 cases respectively, it said.

“Since October 2015 to September 2016, the Commission has disposed 1,11,295 cases out of which 59,924 had to be dismissed in limini, as these were not in line with the provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act,” it added.

During the period, the Commission recommended monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 70,93,000 in 380 cases. The public authorities complying with the Commission’s recommendations paid Rs. 11,59,56,172 as monetary relief in 410 cases to the victims or their kin. These included cases of the previous year as well as the some cases wherein recommendations were made during 2015-2016.

An independent report was prepared and sent to the UN mandated Human Rights Council for the third Universal Periodic Review, the NHRC said.