Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the Commission autonomous?
Answer: Yes, the Commission derives its autonomy, inter-alia, from the methos of appointment of its Members, their fixity of tenure and statutory guarantee thereto, the status they have been accorded and the manner in which the staff responsible to the Commission including its investigative agency – will be appointed and conduct themselves. The financial autonomy of the Commission is spelt out in Section 33 of the Act.

Q. How to approach the Commission?
Answer: The victim or any person on his behalf, may submit complaints to the Commission, giving full details of the subject matter along with signature and complete postal address of the complaint.
Q. How much Court fee should be paid?
Answer: No Court fee or other stamp need be affixed on complaints petitions.
Q. How can the Commission be approached?
Answer: The Commission can be approached directly by the aggrieved person or anybody on his/her behalf. Even no lawyer is necessary. The complaint petitions neither require any verification nor supported by an affidavit. It need not necessarily be in English and it can be a telegraphic complaint. But every complaint petition should contain proper postal address of the complainant for communication.
Q. To whom the complaint may be addressed?
Answer: Every complaint may be address to Chairmen of Commission or Member's or concerned officials to commission.
Q. Are all matters regarding violation of human rights by public servants taken up by the Commission?
Answer: The Commission takes up matters excluding the following:

  1. Complaints in regard to the event which occurred more than one year before the making of the Complainant;
  2. Matters which are sub-judice or under enquiry by any other Commission;
    1. Matters which are vague, anonymous or pseudonymous.
    2. Matters of frivolous nature; and
    3. Matters like, dispute between landlord and tenant, conjugal dispute, disputes relating to property, inheritance, partitions, etc.
    4. Violation of human rights by members of Central Armed Forces.

Q. What is the jurisdiction of the Commission?

  1. The Commission shall not inquire into any matter which is pending before a National Commission or any other Commission duly constituted under any law for the time being in force.
  2. The Commission shall not enquire into any matter after the expiry of one year from the date on which the act constituting violation of human rights is alleged to have been committed.

Q. How does the Commission enquire into Complaints?
The Commission, while enquiring into complaints of violations of human rights may call for information or report from the concerned Government or any other authority or organization subordinate thereto within such time as may be specified by it, provided that if the information or report is not received within the time stipulated by the Commission, it may proceed to inquire into the complaint on its own; on the other hand, if on receipt of information or report, the Commission is satisfied either that no further inquiry is required or that the required action has been initiated or taken by the concerned Government or authority, it may not proceed with the complaint and inform the complaint on accordingly.

Q. What steps are open to the Commission after inquiry?
The Commission may take any of the following steps upon the completion of inquiry :

  1. Where the inquiry discloses any violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of violation of human rights by a public servant, the Commission may recommend to the concerned Government or authority, the initiation of proceedings for prosecution or such other action as it may deem fit against the concerned person or persons
  2. Approach the Supreme Court or the High Court concerned for such directions, orders or writs as that Court may deem necessary.
  3. Recommend to the concerned Government or authority for grant of such immediate interim relief to the victim or the members of his family as the Commission may consider necessary.