Anti Terrorism Conference
Resolution 1: Penalise the Human Rights violators
The Human Rights defender’s meet strongly deplore the prevalence of custodial violence, torture and abuse of police power.It is the concern of International Community since the issue is universal and the challenge is global. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantee the basic human rights as enshrined in Article 5 that ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.
Despite the pious declaration, the crime continues unabated. It is merely on account of devilish devices adopted by those at the helm of affairs who proclaim from roof tops to be the defenders of democracy and watch dogs of citizens rights, and yet don’t hesitate to descend low to let loose their men in uniform to settle personal scores, feigning ignorance of what happens.
Article 21 is one of the luminary provisions in the Constitution and is a part of the fundamental rights and occupies a pride of place in the Constitution.
The torture in custody flouts the basic rights of the citizens recognized by our constitution and is an affront to human dignity. Police excesses and maltreatment of detainees or suspects tarnish the image of any civilized nation and encourage the men in “khaki” to consider themselves to be superior to law.
This session of human rights defenders’ meet organized by Popular Front of India calls upon the government and the courts to deal such erring officers in an exemplary manner and bring them to book. Otherwise, the common man tends to lose the faith in authority and in the efficacy of the judicial system.
Resolution 2: Repeal contempt of court law
The provisions of contempt of court has been proved to be a safety valve for judges to render comments and observations at their will. The judiciary on many occasions forayed on the domain of legislature and executive. But it has not tolerated the creative criticisms of its functioning. In a democracy the judicial functionaries are also accountable like any other constitutional organs.
It is imperative to re- align the judiciary with democratic obligations and restraints that are observed by other institutions. No institution can play so pivotal a role as the judiciary does and yet remain beyond any kind of accountability, questioning or scrutiny. This non- accountability is good neither for the judiciary nor for the democratic polity. One should realize the supremacy of the constitution and not the supremacy of the courts. The freedom of expression guaranteed under the constitution provides the theory of checks and balances. In a democratic society, power and authority cannot be exercised arbitrarily.
As there are contempt of courts law on individuals who critically analyze the judgments. The judgments of courts are public documents and citizens have the right to point out errors or drawbacks in them or to highlight unwholesome repercussion a judgment could possibly create. At present no practical mechanism or effective machinery is available to deal with the erring judges. The contempt of courts law is hanging over the heads of civil society as sword of Damocles which preclude and restrain them from critical analysis on catina of dictums touching on significant issues. On different count the very existence of contempt of law itself is on attack and rights activists, social scientists besides many judges who demitted from office pleaded its abolition .
The Human Rights defenders meet organized by popular front of India calls upon the government to repeal the contempt of court law so as to enable the civil society to analyze and criticize the judiciary in a positive and constructive manner.