The Commission shall perform all on any of the following functions, namely:-
(a) Inquire, suo-motu or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf1*[or on a direction or order of any court], into complaint of-
(i) Violation of human rights or abetment thereof; or
(ii) Negligence in the prevention of such violation, by a public servant;
(b) Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of such court;
2*[(c) Visit, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, 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 thereof and make recommendations thereon to the Government;]
(d) 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;
(e) Review the factors, including acts of terrorism, that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures;
(f) Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation;
(g) Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights;
(h) Spread human rights literacy 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;
(i) Encourage the efforts of non-governmental organisation and institutions working in the field of human rights;
(j) Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.
1. Inserted by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006, w.e.f 23.11.2006.
2. Substituted for the following by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006, w.e.f 23.11.2006.
" (c) visit, under intimation to the State Government, any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government, where persons are detained or lodged for purposes of treatment, reformation or protection to study the living conditions of the inmates and make recommendations thereon; "
(1) The Commission shall, while inquiring into complaints under this Act, have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
(b) Discovery and production of any document;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) Any other matter which may be prescribed.
(2) The Commission shall have power to require any person, subject to any privilege which may be claimed by that person under any law for the time being in force, to furnish information on such points or matters as, in the opinion of the Commission, may be useful for, or relevant to, the subject matter of the inquiry and any person so required shall be deemed to be legally bound to furnish such information within the meaning of section 176 and section 177 of the Indian Penal Code.
(3) The Commission or any other officer, not below the rank of a Gazetted Officer, specially authorised in this behalf by the Commission may enter any building or place where the Commission has reason to believe that any document relating to the subject matter of the inquiry may be found, and may seize any such document or take extracts or copies therefrom subject to the provisions of section 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in so far as it may be applicable.
(4) The Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court and when any offence as is described in section 175, section 178, section 179, section 180 or section 228 of the Indian Penal Code is committed in the view or presence of the Commission, the Commission may, after recording the facts constituting the offence and the statement of the accused as provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the complaint against the accused as if the case has been forwarded to him under section 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
(5) Every proceeding before the Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purposes of section 196, of the Indian Penal Code, and the Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI 6f the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
1*[(6) Where the Commission considers it necessary or expedient so to do, it may, by order, transfer any complaint filed or pending before it to the State Commission of the State from which the complaint arises, for disposal in accordance with the provisions of this Act:
Provided that no such complaint shall be transferred unless the same is one respecting which the State Commission has jurisdiction to entertain the same.
(7) Every complaint transferred under sub-section (6) shall be dealt with and disposed of by the State Commission as if it were a complaint initially filed before it;]
(1) The Commission may, for the purpose of conducting any investigation pertaining to the inquiry, utilise the services of any officer or investigation agency of the Central Government or any State Government with the concurrence of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be.
(2) For the purpose of investigating into any matter pertaining to the inquiry, any officer or agency whose services are utilised under sub-section (1) may, subject to the direction and control of the Commission,-
(a) Summon and enforce the attendance of any person and examine him;
(b) Require the discovery and production of any document; and
(c) Requisition any public record or copy thereof from any office.
(3) The provisions of section 15 shall apply in relation to any statement made by a person before any officer or agency whose services are utilised under sub-section (1) as they apply in relation to any statement made by a person in the course of giving evidence before the Commission.
(4) The officer or agency whose services are utilised under sub-section (1) shall investigate into any matter pertaining to the inquiry and submit a report thereon to the Commission within such period as may be specified by the Commission in this behalf.
(5) The Commission shall satisfy itself about the correctness of the facts stated and the conclusion, if any, arrived at in the report submitted to it under sub-section (4) and for this purpose the Commission may make such inquiry (including the examination of the person or persons who conducted or assisted in the investigation) as it thinks fit.
No statement made by a person in the course of giving evidence before the Commission shall subject him to, or be used against him in, any civil or criminal proceeding except a prosecution for giving false evidence by such statement: Provided that the statement-
(a) Is made in reply to the question which he is required by the Commission to answer; or
(b) Is relevant to the subject matter of the inquiry.
If, at any stage of the inquiry, the Commission-
(a) Considers it necessary to inquire into the conduct of any person; or
(b) Is of the opinion that the reputation of any person is likely to be prejudicially affected by the inquiry,it shall give to the person a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the inquiry and to produce evidence in his defence:
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply where the credit of a witness is being impeached.
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