The Supreme Court on Tuesday fined seven states, including Telangana, for failing to file responses on setting up Human Rights courts despite its direction in January 2018.
According to a report by Deccan Chronicle, the Telangana government was fined Rs 50,000 along with Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Meghalaya and Mizoram after they failed to file any response.
The states which have been penalised are Telangana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Meghalaya and Mizoram. While Telangana, UP, Odisha, Meghalaya and Mizoram were fined with Rs 50,000, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand were fined Rs 1 lakh for neither filing a response nor having a prosecutor while the case was heard.
In January 2018, a petition was filed by a law student Bhavika Phore over the failure of setting up Human Rights courts in each district of the state to conduct a speedy trial. The Supreme Court then asked all states to set up courts and appoint Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) for conducting a speedy trial of offences arising out of human rights violations within a time period of three months.
However, the Telangana government failed to give any response on setting up the Human Rights court.
The last permanent State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Chairperson was Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru, who completed his term in 2016. This position is yet to be filled. Despite several court interventions and outrage by activists, the government has not appointed a chairperson or other staff to the human rights commission for the past three years.
According to estimates, 8,000 cases are pending with the SHRC with 3,823 fresh complaints between November 1, 2018, and July 6, 2019.
Besides the SHRC, Telangana also doesn’t have a Lokayukta, an autonomous anti-corruption body. A report by TNM revealed that since December 15, 2017, 2,767 complaints have been received, while the total number of complaints pending with the institution was a staggering 5,283.