It is autonomous, statutory body created in 1993. It is the watchdog of human rights in the country.


  • Proactively or re-actively inquire into violations of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant
  • By leave of the court, to intervene in court proceeding relating to human rights
  • To visit any jail or other institution under the control of the state government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection, for the study of the living conditions of the inmates and make recommendations
  • Review the safeguards provided by or under the constitution or any law for the time being in force for 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
  • 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 NGO's and institutions working in the field of human rights
  • Such other function as it may consider it necessary for the protection of human rights.


The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

  • The Prime Minister (chairperson)
  • The Home Minister
  • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (House of the People)
  • The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha (Council of States)
  • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha (House of the People)
  • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States)

The NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) consists of:

  • A Chairperson, retired Chief Justice of India
  • One Member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India
  • One Member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court
  • Two Members to be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights
  • In addition, the Chairpersons of four National Commissions of (1.Minorities 2.SC and ST 3.Women) serve as ex officio members.

A sitting judge of SC or chief justice of HC can be appointed only after recommendations of CJI. Once the members cease to occupy office they aren’t eligible for any appointment under central or state government. Term is 70 yrs of age or 5 years.

Removal is done by president on grounds of bankruptcy, unsound mind, infirmity of body or mind, sentenced to imprisonment for a crime, or engages in paid employment. He can also be removed for proved misbehaviour or incapacity if SC enquiry finds him guilty. They can resign by writing to president.


The commission has the power of a civil court and can take cognisance of cases if received within one year of occurrence.

It can recommend compensation to victim, prosecution of accused. But such recommendations aren’t binding.

It submits special or annual reports to parliament and state legislatures along with action taken on their recommendations and reasons for non acceptance of advice.

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