Human Rights

Amir wrongfully jailed for 14 years as terrorist, Rs 5 lakh relief is too much for Delhi Govt?

National Human Rights Commission to Delhi Government: Show cause why Rs.5 lakh be not recommended as relief to Mohammad Amir for his wrongful confinement for 14 years as a terrorist

New Delhi, (4 December, 2015): The National Human Rights Commission has issued a show cause notice to the Delhi Government why monetary relief of rupees five lakh should not be recommended to be paid to Mohammad Amir, who was released after 14 year long incarceration in jail, destroying his youth, due to his wrongful arrest on the 27th February, 1998 from Old Delhi as an alleged 'terrorist' when he had just turned 18. The victim had been acquitted in 17 cases, including one by the High Court of Delhi. It has given six weeks to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi to respond.

Mr. Justice D. Murugesan, Member, NHRC has observed that "the sufferings faced by him have been long and arduous and the damage caused to him by the conduct of the State authorities is immense and exemplary. In the circumstances, the State must compensate the damage caused by its employees to the victim. Moreover, the life ahead of the victim from this point does not seem to be a smooth one as he has lost his parents, his career, his hopes, dreams and everything but the hard fact is that he has to overcome the same and return to the mainstream of life and prove his worth as an ideal citizen of the country."

"Our Constitution accords the responsibility on the State to Protect and Promote Human Rights of individuals and the responsibility is based on good governance. Police play significant role in maintaining the order and enforce laws fairly and not unjustly. Police, as protector of law have both legal and moral obligations to uphold Human Rights and act strictly in accordance with law implicating innocent persons would not go only against all cannons of justice and rule of law but it would also amount to real accused escape from the clutches of law."

The Commission has also observed that it cannot be disputed that the security of the nation stands atop all other consideration and security of the nation is primary and sacred duty of every organ of the State. But the execution of such duties is strictly subjected to the mandate of relevant statutes and procedures established by the Supreme Court. In other words, the entire set of actions of the State must be regulated by the Rule of Law.

The Commission has held that an essential principle of Rule of Law is that every executive action if it is to operate to the prejudices of any person must have authority of law to support it. Within the parameters of such authority, rule of law must not become an instrument, which grossly violates the distinct human rights of the citizens. It transpires from the case record that the victim was subjected to State action only on suspicion. Not an iota of evidence was produced in the court to connect Mohammad Amir with any of the alleged crimes.

It may be indicated that under given circumstances, the law enforcement authorities have a legitimate right to suspect somebody's involvement in any crime but a suspicion to be legitimate must not be imaginary or trivial but it must be a reasonable, justified and should be supported by some materials/facts.

The Commission said that the chronicle of allegations made against the victim only piled up over the years without any substance. The material on record reflects the excesses committed by the concerned police authorities and also how he suffered incarceration silently. His conduct in the prison was found very satisfactory and praiseworthy by the Jailor of District Jail, Ghaziabad. All the newspaper reports were unanimous over the human rights violation of the victim and the Commission cannot afford to differ with the wisdom displayed by the courts and media.

The Commission had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue on the basis of the media reports in March, 2014.

National Human Rights Commission,
Manav Adhikar Bhawan Block-C,
GPO Complex, INA,
New Delhi - 110023

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