National Human Rights Commission of India


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is a statutory public body constituted on 12 October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance of 28 September 1993.[1] It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (PHRA).[2] The NHRC is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, defined by the act as "Rights Relating To Life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the constitution or embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by courts in India".[3]

National Human Rights Commission
National Human Rights Commission logo
National Human Rights Commission logo
Mottosarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ
transl. "May All be Happy"
Agency overview
Formed12 October 1993 (28 years ago) (12 October 1993)
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyIndia
Operations jurisdictionIndia
Size3,287,263 km2 (1,269,219 sq mi)
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersFaridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi - 110 001.
Agency executive
Official website

Functions of NHRCEdit

The Protection of Human Rights Act mandates the NHRC to perform the following:

  • Proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights by government of India or negligence of such violation by a public servant
  • The protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation
  • Review the factors, including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures
  • To study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation
  • Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights
  • To visit jails and study the condition of inmates
  • Engage in human rights education among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means
  • Encourage the efforts of NGOs and institutions that works in the field of human rights volunteerly.
  • Considering the necessity for the protection of human rights.
  • Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.


The NHRC consists of: The chairperson and five members (excluding the ex-officio members) [4]

  • A Chairperson, who has been a Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.[5]

The sitting Judge of the Supreme Court or sitting Chief Justice of any High Court can be appointed only after the consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Chairman and membersEdit

Arun Kumar Mishra, a former Judge of Supreme Court is current chairperson of the commission (11th chairperson of NHRC). The last chairman of the NHRC was Justice H. L. Dattu, who completed his tenure on 2 December 2020.[6] The other members are:[7]

  • Mr. Justice M.M. Kumar
  • Dr. D.M. Mulay
  • Mr. Rajiv Jain

Ex-officio members:

State Human Rights CommissionEdit

A state government may constitute a body known as the Human Rights Commission of that State to exercise the powers conferred upon, and to perform the functions assigned to, a State Commission. In accordance with the amendment brought in TPHRA,1993[9] point No.10 below is the list[10] of State Human Rights Commissions formed to perform the functions of the commission as stated under chapter V of TPHRA,1993 (with amendment act 2006). At present, 25 states have constituted SHRC[11]

State Commission City Date constituted
Assam Human rights Commission Guwahati 19 January 1996
Andhra Pradesh State Human rights Commission Kurnool 2 August 2006
Bihar Human rights Commission Patna 3 January 2000
Chhattisgarh Human Rights Commission Raipur 16 April 2001
Gujarat State Human Rights Commission[12] Gandhinagar 12 September 2006
Goa Human Rights Commission Panaji 2011
Meghalaya State Human Right Commission Shillong 2013
Himachal Pradesh State Human rights Commission Shimla --
Kerala State Human Rights Commission Thiruvananthapuram 11 December 1998
Karnataka State Human Rights Commission Bangalore 28 June 2005
Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission Bhopal 1 September 1995
Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission Mumbai 6 March 2001
Manipur State Human Rights Commission Imphal 2003
Odisha Human rights Commission Bhubaneswar 27 January 2000
Punjab State Human Rights Commission Chandigarh 17 March 1997
Rajasthan State Human rights Commission Jaipur 18 January 1999
State Human Rights Commission Tamil Nadu Chennai 17 April 1997
Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission Lucknow 7 October 2002
West Bengal Human Rights Commission Kolkata 8 January 1994
Jharkhand State Human Rights Commission Ranchi 2010
Sikkim State Human Rights Commission Gangtok 18 October 2008
Uttarakhand Human Rights Commission Dehradun 13 May 2013
Haryana Human Rights Commission Chandigarh 2012
Tripura Human rights Commission Agartala 2015
Telangana State Human Rights Commission Hyderabad 2019[13]


Section 2, 3 and 4 of TPHRA lay down the rules for appointment to the NHRC. The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

List of ChairpersonsEdit

Sr. No. Portrait Name Tenure
1.   Justice Ranganath Misra 12 October 1993 24 November 1996
2.   Justice M N Venkatachaliah 26 November 1996 24 October 1999
3.   Justice J S Verma 4 November 1999 17 January 2003
4.   Justice A S Anand 17 February 2003 31 October 2006
-   Justice Shivaraj Patil
1 November 2006 1 April 2007
5.   Justice S. Rajendra Babu 2 April 2007 31 May 2009
-   Justice G. P. Mathur
1 June 2009 6 June 2010
6.   Justice K G Balakrishnan 7 June 2010 11 May 2015
-   Justice Cyriac Joseph
11 May 2015 28 February 2016
7.   Justice H.L. Dattu 29 February 2016 2 December 2020
  Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant
2 May 2021[14] 1 June 2021
8.   Justice Arun Kumar Mishra 2 June 2021 Incumbent


A report concerning the manner in which the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case was rejected, a case involving high-ranking officials, opened the organisation up to questioning over the usefulness of human rights commissions set up by the government at the national and state levels.[citation needed] In mid-2011, the chairman of the NHRC, ex-Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan came under a cloud for allegedly owning assets disproportionate to his income.[15] His son-in-law P. V. Srinijan, an Indian National Congress politician, had to resign for suddenly coming into possession of land worth Rs. 25 lakhs.[16] Many prominent jurists, including former CJ J. S. Verma, SC ex-Judge V. R. Krishna Iyer, noted jurist Fali S. Nariman, former NHRC member Sudarshan Agrawal and prominent activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, have called on Balakrishnan's resignation pending from the HRC pending inquiry.[17] In February 2012, the Supreme Court inquired of the government regarding the status of the inquiry.[18]

Human Rights Campaign's recommendationsEdit

NHRC held that 16 out of 19 police encounters with suspected Maoists in Guntur and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh, prior to 2002 were fake and recommended to Government payment of compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the families.[19]


  1. ^ Annual Report 1993-94 of the National Human Rights Commission
  2. ^ The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006
  3. ^ Nath, Damini. "NHRC issues notice to T.N." The Hindu. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  4. ^ The Commission consists of a Chairperson, five full-time Members and four deemed Members. The statute lays down qualifications for the appointment of the Chairperson and Members of the Commission. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ Singh, Vijaita (8 October 2017). "Ex-SC judges could soon be appointed NHRC chiefs". The Hindu – via
  6. ^ Devika (7 December 2020). "Justice H.L. Dattu completes his tenure as the 10th Chairperson of NHRC, India". SCC Blog. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  7. ^ "NHRC website". Archived from the original on 9 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Documents | National Human Rights Commission India" (PDF). Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Bandari, Pavan Kumar (24 December 2019). "Telangana state Human Rights Commission gets new chairman and members". Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Justice Pant appointed NHRC acting chairperson". The Hindu. 3 May 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  15. ^ CBDT to probe ex-CJI Balakrishnan's assets -Videos India:IBNLive Videos. (2011-06-22). Retrieved on 2012-09-30.
  16. ^ Ex-CJI's son amasses property in four years. (2012-09-21). Retrieved on 2012-09-30.
  17. ^ Fali Nariman wants judicial probe against ex-CJI, kin's assets : South News – India Today. (2011-01-03). Retrieved on 2012-09-30.
  18. ^ SC asks Centre about action taken against ex-CJI KG Balakrishnan – India News – IBNLive. Retrieved on 2012-09-30.
  19. ^ "NHRC declares 16 out of 19 encounters fake, orders compensation of Rs.80 lakh". 13 July 2012.

External linksEdit

  • National Human Rights Commission Official Website
  • Judicial Economist