Daksh: (KSHRC) lacks the power to provide a concrete solution and has inadequate powers to ensure compliance with its recommendations.

April 18, 2011

A report by Daksh, a voluntary research group suggested that KSHRC needs to be given adequate powers to make its functioning more efficient. It also applauded the KSHRC saying, “The chairperson and members of the KSHRC have not shied away from confronting the Government, and their conduct has inspired reasonable confidence in the efficacy and independence of the commission.”

Mr Mathews Philip, Director of SICHREM was also asked to give his opinion on the same. Here is the report carried out by ‘The Hindu’.

You can also visit the news section in our website to read related stories.

Give support to Bhopal survivors

July 23, 2010

1000 Bhopalis will be going to Delhi on 26th of July to demand that the state (parliament in session) take notice of them. Our 26 year struggle for justice has not ended. 

 20,000 people continue to drink poisoned water, thousands of gas victims who were promised jobs remain jobless; medical treatment for victims remains elusive; the site and its surroundings are polluted, and the culprit – Dow Chemical –freely does business in India.

How you can help!

1. Support in cash or kind: 

We need your contribution towards the expenses for food, transport and protest material. You may also support us by sharing your resources like sound systems, photocopying/printing/faxing facility.

Most importantly, since we’re not allowed to camp at Jantar Mantar anymore, we are looking for large spaces for the Bhopalis to rest in–rooms, halls etc that are close to JM, have a roof to protect from the rain, and toilet facilities close by. Do let us know if you have tents or tirpaals that you can share with Bhopalis to cover them from the (lovely and wet!) monsoons.

Please send in your donations through a Cheque payable to ‘The Other Media’ and courier it to us at: Rachna Dhingra, C/o ICJB, 44 Sant Kanwar Ram Nagar
Berasia Road, Bhopal, MP 462001

2. Volunteer: 

Performers: Again, to keep the protests interesting and also keep the mood high at Dharna site, we would appreciate support from all kinds of musicians and artists who can and would like to join in solidarity at Jantar Mantar, play music, dance, sing, paint, juggle, breathe fire, etc.

Crisis Support: Act as a Guarantor in case Bhopalis are arrested and need bail.

Solidarity Actions: Do organise solidarity actions in your city during the course of our protest in Delhi. Each action by you goes a long way in inspiring us.

If you have any questions please contact: 

Shalini (sh.shalini@gmail.com/99 589 24 989)

Kaveri (kaveri.rajaraman@gmail.com/ 9958789298)

Solidarity shown for our complaint to the NHRC

June 21, 2010
Some civil society campaigners have shown solidarity with SICHREM and have added their disapproval to the images which showed the inappropraite treatment of a corpse by security personnel.  Here are their thoughts:
“Whatever image India has all over about its heritage and culture is defaced and demeaned by this indignity and maltreatment of human remains.
You are required to act under universal laws of human rights. Kindly do so.”
Vice Chair Transparency International Bangalore.
“Yes Mathews, it is an awful scene. The same picture appeared in Mathrubhoomi dated today. There was no detailed write up though. I appreciate your initiative in taking up the matter with NHRC.”
Dr. Fr. Thomas Joseph Therakam

SICHREM signs petition in support of Greenpeace activists in Japan

June 21, 2010

SICHREM  have added its voice of disapproval to the trial of two Greenpeace activists in Japan. These activists exposed apparent corruption and embezzlement in the government funded Southern Ocean whaling company.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has recently ruled that the detention and prosecution of the activists has breached several articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A successful prosecution of the two will be a serious blow for freedom of expression and political opposition.

To read the petition:Petition – green peace[2]

The Prevention of Torture Bill: an affront to civil liberties?

May 14, 2010

In the late hours of the 6th May the Prevention of Torture Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.

Eventhough Kaul and Shakder’s Manual of Practice and Procedure in Parliament, says hourly statements of the number of MPs sitting in the House is required to be published in the bulletin, this practice is routinely flouted. Consequently, we do not know who was in House when the Bill was debated, or even if it made the quorum requirements.

Not a single member from the main opposition party-the BJP spoke on the Bill. Similarly, RJD, BSP, CPI, NCP, NC, Shiv Sena, did not say anything on the Bill.

The apparent lack of a serious debate of the Bill coupled with the fact that we do not know how many people were in the House to hear the debate suggests that the Bill has not been scrutinised thoroughly enough.

This lack of scrutiny is particularly pertinent when considering Section 3 of the Bill. The Bill can be accessed here http://prsindia.org/uploads/media/Torture/prevention%20of%20torture%20bill%202010.pdf

The proviso in section 3 seems to curb our civil liberties and human rights in two fundamental ways:

1. It seems to justify the death penalty, and
2. It seems to condone the use of force to maintain law and order when facing unlawful assemblies.

One potential option is to lobby MPs to refer the Bill to a Select Committee of the Rajy Sabha (and not a Standing committee which is a joint committee). This could provide the opportunity to form an informed critique of the Bill.

Please see Section 3 and its proviso below:
Whoever, being a public servant or being abetted by a public servant or with the consent or acquiescence of a public servant, intentionally does any act for the purposes to obtain from him or a third person such information or a confession which causes,—

(i) grievous hurt to any person; or

(ii) danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of any person, is said to inflict torture:”
The proviso reads as follows:
“Provided that nothing contained in this section shall apply to any pain, hurt or danger as aforementioned caused by any act, which is inflicted in accordance with any procedure established by law or justified by law.”

Letter to the Editor of the Deccan Herald

May 4, 2010


This [letter] refers to the case of Halappa.

I agree with your editorial which states that the CM’s continued defence of the minister as a ‘satwick’ person defies any logic.  It is unbecoming  of a CM to give a clean chit to a person, against whom an FIR is pending for rape, even before  the investigation has begun.  This is an example of unwarrented political interference in a criminal case.  By making this statement, the Indian Government has already given direction to the police how this case is to be investigated.  The only hope is that the COD will sanitise themselves from these manipulations and see that the guilty is made to face criminal proceedings.

Mathews Philip
Executive Director, SICRHEM.”

Here is the Deccan Herald’s editorial (today’s paper – 4 May 2010):