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5 lakh pension cases of widows, destitutes, disabled persons pending: SHRC chairperson

Srinagar, Nov 27: State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Chairperson, Justice Bilal Ahmad Nazki Tuesday revealed that about five lakh applications of widows, physically challenged and destitute persons, seeking monthly pension of Rs 1000, under various schemes, are pending with the Government.
“From the year 2009 till date, no application has been sanctioned and no pension has been granted to such persons,” Justice Nazki said while addressing the participants during the One Day Basic Training Programme on Human Rights organised by the School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir (CUK), in association with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), at Nowgam-I academic block of the varsity here.
He said the rights of five lakh people “have been violated” continuously from 2009 till date and that was not by the police, adding that, due to efforts of SHRC, pension for 50,000 people have now been sanctioned.
He said the Commission deals with the Human Rights violations associated with police and security forces and also with the rights violation committed by others which are more predominant.
He said the protection of human rights in the third world countries and in India is not an easy task. “The protection of Human Rights has to be done by various institutions at different levels,” he said. Justice Nazki said that one of the biggest criticism, the Commissions face in India is that their recommendations are not binding on the respective Governments, adding that with the passage of time, the law does evolve and cited the Judgment of Allahabad High Court, wherein it was stated the recommendations of the Commissions are binding on the State Governments, and the same judgment is pending in the Supreme Court.
Delivering the presidential address, Vice-Chancellor, CUK, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir, said the concept and observance Human Rights was deeply ingrained in our ancestors despite the fact that they had never read it in any book or Constitution. “They were extremely conscious about the Human Rights and used to implement them in letter and spirit,” Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said, adding that the ancestors and our forefathers used to implement the HR first in their homes and then with the neighbors. He said that at present the Human Rights are enshrined in different Constitutions of various countries and are talked about by different leaders, but they are seldom implemented and are violated in different countries. The Vice-Chancellor further said that even the fundamental rights are violated every now and then and nobody is raising a voice regarding the same. Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said the programme on the Human Rights would have been an eye opener for the participants and would have sensitized them about their basic rights.
Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir also deliberated upon the reservation policy stating that the same was created to lift up those belonging to the downtrodden strata of the society. “However, the reservation policy is now only being used by those who have already availed its benefits and are working in good positions, leaving those who need it the most in lurch,” he said.
Earlier, while speaking on the occasion, Dean School of Legal Studies, Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain said, the objective of today’s programme is to spread awareness about the Human Rights among the teaching, scholars and students fraternity. “We have always been trying to equip the teachers and students with capacity of projecting and contemplating on Human Rights,” Dr. Sheikh Showkat said. He said the Human Rights always become causality within a conflict zone. Dr. Sheikh Showkat said university has invited resource persons from SHRC, Highest Judiciary and other relevant fields and asked the participants to gather first hand information from them regarding the implementation of laws pertaining to the Human Rights and the impediments they face while doing the same. He further said the department was contemplating to start a diploma programme in Human Rights in near future.
During the programme, Prof. Noor Muhammad Bilal, faculty of Law, University of Kashmir, deliberated on “Part III and IV of Indian Constitution, Dr. Sheikh Showkat shed light on “Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) International Covenants Regarding Human Rights,” former Head and Dean Faculty of Law, University of Kashmir, spoke about “Bonded Labour Issues and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition Act, 1976) and Child Labour Issues and Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986 and Deputy Director, Tribal Affairs, Ms. Nighat Majeed, threw light on “SC/ST issues and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989, Civil Liberties Act, 1988 and the Forest Right Act, 2006.
School of Legal Studies, Assistant Professor and workshop coordinator, Gulafroz Jan conducted the programme proceedings and also proposed the vote of thanks.

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