HYDERABAD: Petitions continue to pile up at the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) with no chance of a quick redressal of grievances in sight. A 63-year-old from Bowenpally seeking maintenance for him and his wife from their son; a 38-year-old victim of domestic violence from Langar Houz who was forced to sign divorce papers under duress and a newly-wed couple seeking remedy as the parents of the girl have booked false kidnapping cases against the man are some of the people seeking justice even as over 7,950 cases remain pending.
This SHRC, in the absence of a head — the Secretary who was temporarily handling the judicial role retired on November 1 — has not passed a single order for the last 82 days. Adding to the problem is the absence of other members to carry out judicial roles. A total of 1,348 fresh cases have come in since then. The effectiveness of the SHRC began to decline in 2016 when the last chairperson retired and delegated judicial powers to the Secretary. In October, the last serving secretary retired.
Andhra Pradesh, too, is responsible for the delay in the settlement of cases as the State’s officials have not made any effort to hire a chairperson or divide the cases pouring in post bifurcation. Though the AP government issued a GO for the formation of a separate commission with Amravati as its headquarters, nothing has been done to appoint members or transfer cases. Sources added that the expenses of running SHRC would be borne singularly by the Telangana government which has, so far, shown no interest in bifurcating the commission.
Multiple raps and orders by both the apex court and High Court too have failed to leave an impact on the two governments. On December 5, the High Court noted: “We are amazed to hear that no appointment has been made to the SHRC for Andhra Pradesh.
“We are told by the learned standing counsel for SHRC that the said secretary has also retired. There is some officer at a lower rank who may be available. Assuming the person too retires, such a situation will arise when the last person in the office who is ordained to keep the lock and key of the office will be empowered to discharge statutory function.”