Internship Experience @ the State Human Rights Commission, Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Balanced Division of Work, Strict Environment

Name: Rohan Nahar

College/University: D.G. Vaishnav College, Chennai.

Course of study: B.A. Criminology & Police Administration.

Duration of internship: 3 Weeks

About the organization:

This Commission was constituted in accordance with the powers conferred on the state under section-21 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (Central Act 10 Of 1994) the exercise the powers conferred upon and perform the functions assigned to it provided under this act.

Tamil Nadu is one of the very few states which has constituted a commission for human rights on 17.4.1997.

The State Human Rights Commission is a multi-member body consisting of – “A Chairperson” and “Two Members”.

1. The Chairperson shall be a Retired Chief Justice of a High Court,

2. One member should be a Serving or Retired Judge of a High Court or A District Judge in the state with a minimum of Seven years of experienceas district judge,

3. Another Member having knowledge or practical experience with respect to Human Rights.

Application procedure:

One may simply visit the SHRC and walk into the legal department and Submit their requisition letter clearly mentioning the dates of internship along with his/her CV and Recommendation letter from the Institution.

They (SHRC) shall immediately confirm your internship subject to approval from the Chair Person.

Date of internship:

09/07/2018-27/07/2018. Timings of the office were from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

First Impression/Experience:

The Legal department shall ask you to study the State human rights act at the very first moment and shall also explain the procedures, the way of dealing with a complaint and the way of consoling the complainants who come to their office with the grievance.

The best part of the Internship was watching the court proceedings. Since the Hon’ble Member – Thiru. D. Jayachandran was active than any other member(s) of the SHRC, I loved watching his proceedings.

The way he dealt with each and every complaint and the stringent orders which he would pass shall always remain inspiring to one and all present there.

If one gets the opportunity to intern during the Excellency period of the Hon’ble Member Thiru.D. Jayachandran, he/she is truly blessed and fortunate enough as such Strict and Disciplined person cannot be seen in any other courts.

At the end, the commission shall provide an internship certificate.

Pro’s: 

It is a small place and even if you do have co-interns you will have only a maximum of 5-6! Hence there is no day that you will sit without any work and moreover the division of work is balanced.

The work experience was first-class and so was the nature of work.

The fact that they give us the opportunity to be creative and also take in our suggestions is highly motivating.

Even though I was quite whiny at the beginning of the internship due to the strict adherence to the timings, eventually I realized that for all the learning, being on time in the morning shouldn’t be a problem.

Stipend:

No stipend policy is practiced at SHRC.

Short Comings of this Commission/Experience gained:

The State Human Rights Commission has limited powers and its functions are just advisory in nature. The Commission does not have power to punish the violators of human rights.

It cannot even award any Interim relief including monetary relief to the victim.

The Recommendations of State Human Rights Commission are also not binding on the state government or authority, but it should be informed about the action taken on its Recommendation within one month.

Recommendations:

There is a requirement to increase the powers of the State Human Rights Commission. This could be increased in various ways in delivering justice to the victims.

The commission should be empowered to provide interim and immediate relief including monetary relief to the victim. The commission should also be authorized to punish the violators of the human rights, which may act as a deterrent to such acts in the future.

The interference of state government in working of the commission should be minimum, as it may influence the working/effective functioning of commission.

 

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