Do CRPF jawans have human rights?

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In response to an RTI application by a human rights activist seeking the inquiry report into the Sukma attacks, the CRPF said that the killing of 25 personnel by Naxals on April 24 does not qualify as a “human rights violation”,

CRPF reportedly refused to share the inquiry report requested by human rights activist of CHRI Venkatesh Nayak in the RTI application.

Critics:

Seeking the report, Nayak said the massacre violated the human rights of those killed.

The CRPF’s position directly contradicts the stand taken by information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu, who had called the attack a violation of the human rights of the jawans.

A day after the attack, Naidu had asked: “Are human rights only meant for those who choose violence in furtherance of their outdated ideologies and not for security personnel and common people?”

Constitutional provisions says

constitution of India allows some of the fundamental rights of citizens to be curtailed so long as they are in service, the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966 restricts only three categories of fundamental rights of every member of a notified police force.

Three Fundamental Rights:

1.Right to become “a member of any trade union, labour union or political association or any other society, association, institution or organisation,”

  1. To communicate with the press or publish a book, letter or document unless it is about the discharge of official duties.

3.To participate in any meeting or take part in “any demonstration organised by any body for political purposes”.

However, nowhere is the right to life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution restricted for CRPF personnel or members of other police forces.”

Therefore, CRPF personnel continue to have the fundamental right to life while in service. “Clearly, the murderous attack in April by LWE groups amounts to violation of their human rights by non-state actors. By denying this reality, the CRPF may be doing injustice to its own personnel.

About Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI):

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative is an international non-governmental organisation formed to support Human Rights and particularly to support the implementation of the Harare Declaration in the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The CHRI was founded in 1987 by six existing commonwealth NGOs: the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Commonwealth Legal Education Association, Commonwealth Journalists Association, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Press Union and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Since then it has provided thematic human rights reports every two years to each Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

It is officially accredited to the Commonwealth and also has observer status to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The CHRI is a member of the Commonwealth Family network of NGOs.

The current patrons of the CHRI are the former Canadian Foreign Minister, Flora MacDonald, and the former Bangladesh Minister of Law, Kamal Hossain.

The headquarters was in London until 1993 when the head office moved to New Delhi.

In 2001 a regional office was opened in Accra, Ghana.

About Right to Information (RTI):

Right to Information (RTI) is an Act of the Parliament of India to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens and replaces the erstwhile Freedom of information Act, 2002.

Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days.

The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.

This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 12 October 2005. The first application was given to a Pune police station. Information disclosure in India was restricted by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new RTI Act relaxes. It codifies a fundamental right of citizens.

Scope:

The Act covers the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir, where J&K Right to Information Act is in force.

It covers all constitutional authorities, including the executive, legislature and judiciary; any institution or body established or constituted by an act of Parliament or a state legislature.

It is also defined in the Act that bodies or authorities established or constituted by order or notification of appropriate government including bodies “owned, controlled or substantially financed” by government, or non-Government organizations “substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds”

There are 22 organisations which are exempted under RTI Act :

1. Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs

2. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Ministry of Finance

3. Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Finance

4. Directorate of Enforcement, Ministry of Finance

5. Narcotics Control Bureau

6. Aviation Research Centre

7. Special Frontier Force

8. Border Security Force, Ministry of Home Affairs

9. Central Reserve Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs

10. Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Ministry of Home Affairs

11. Central Industrial Security Force, Ministry of Home Affairs

12. National Security Guard, Ministry of Home Affairs

13. Research & Analysis Wing of The Cabinet Secretariat

14. Assam Rifles, Ministry of Home Affairs

15. Sashastra Seema Bal, Ministry of Home Affairs

16. Special Protection Group

17. Defence Research and Development Organisation, Ministry of Defence

18. Border Road Development Organisation

19. Financial Intelligence Unit, India

20. Directorate General Income Tax (Investigation)

21. National Technical Research Organisation

22. National Security Council Secretariat

These organisations are exempted under RTI Act, but cases related to corruption and Human Rights Violation are not exempted.

You cannot ask for someone’s personal information or something which is threat to national security.

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