news Monday, March 16, 2015 - 05:30
Sameera Ahmed| March 16, 2015| 5.00 pm IST Follow @Sameeraa_Ahmed All organisations in Tamil Nadu carrying the words “human rights” are currently fighting a losing battle. More than five years ago, as part of a crackdown on fraudulent organisations, an amendment was made to the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act preventing all private organisations in the state from carrying the words “human rights” in their names. An amendment never really properly implemented, organisations carrying the words have continued to flourish and work over the years. However, after a recent case in which a private school faced harassment from a local human rights organisation, Justice N Kirubakaran of the Madras High Court demanded detailed reports on all forums running with the same title on Wednesday. History The amendment itself came after an incident in Theni in 2009 during a complaint made at court after an organisation represented itself dishonestly as the state government. When the scam was unveiled, the man who had been cheated took the issue to court. Reacting to a complaint, the SHRC then listed out recommendations to the State Government on the basis that many “human right” commissions were misleading innocent people, The Hindu reported. Not only did it recommend the inclusion of the word in the Act so that usage of the word would be omitted, it also urged the government to order the police to ensure the rule that organisations must carry the word “private organisations” in bold. In a 2010 amendment to the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975, it was stated that any society containing the name “human rights” should change their names in six months. Rejuvenation of the issue After complaints against organisations that had been accused by petitioners of holding “kangaroo courts”, Justice N Kirubakaran on Wednesday directed a number of questions to the DGP in relation to the clampdown on human rights repressing organisations in the state. "Who are they, what is their background, what is their modus operandi, are they receiving foreign funds and accounting for them regularly,” were just some of the questioned that the DGP has been told to respond to by March 16. However, after the court order to look into cases of sham organisations, there has been a state-wide clampdown on organisations wherein no outside complaints from individuals have been made. For instance, in Madurai and Ramanathapuram, arrests were made against Citizens for Human Rights Movement (CHRM) for instances of impersonating a public servant and misusing the emblems of India, The New Indian Express reported. Here, the arrest was made despite no complaint against the organisation. The strict implementation of this amendment is expected to act as a deterrent for such organisations from blooming. As of now, 170 cases have registered against organisations representing “Human Rights Organisations”. However, according to an advocate, the amendment will apply only to organisations that were registered against the the Tamil Nadu State Societies Registration Act, 1975. While it is necessary to provide protection against deceitful NGOs, even genuine organisations intending to reach out to those in need will be affected if this amendment is complied with. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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