Abstract:  On the eve of commemorating 75 years Universal declaration of human rights, (UDHR) on this December 10th of 2023. This article focuses on the recent violations of human rights and the case laws that laid emphasis on the human rights in India. 

Introduction:  Human rights are inherent to us all, regardless of nationality, sex, national 0r ethnic origin, color, religion, language or any other status. Human rights are indivisible, interdependent, equal and non-discriminatory. There are adequate human rights standards nationally and internationally. National human rights commission {NHRC} in India plays a major role in safeguarding and regulating the human rights of the citizens. The main functions of the NHRC is to conduct inquiries into violations of the human rights and deal with the complaints and conduct investigations. The main objectives of any human rights entity is to promote universality, forge the future and develop supporting engagement.

 In regard to the violations of the human rights, there are major concerns like custodial violence, extrajudicial killings, encounters, illegal detentions and many others in regard to gender, crime, ethnicity, nationality and community. The most recent one in India, is Manipur violence. There was a very slow and inadequate response by the government of India, and law enforcement to stem physical and sexual violence and hate speech in Manipur. Its not only shocking, disgusting, but also very anger raging acts.  The human rights were barely considered and the loss of million lives, the atrocities on women, and not preventing the violation of Human rights is also a major point of discussion.

Violation of human rights : The conflict in Manipur has many historical reasons, but the role of the government is to sort them out but lest done was to let all the violence happen, the police and the law enforcement agencies were also negligent. The reports show that the mob, who gangraped two women and tortured them were assisted by the police officers, this was a statement that was given by two victim women themselves. The state government had no response, and was not literally taking the accountability to administer the tensions. The act was a national shame and the excuse that they did not have federal support fails as the party ruling at the center is also the same as that of the one in the state. The interference of the judiciary took time for their Suo motto cognizance, and ordered the legislatures either to arrest the accused or to step aside so that the judiciary can act accordingly. The ban of internet and leading to internet shutdown caused much higher internal tensions and erupted the violence. The next instance was the twin death of school students where the boy was beheaded and the girl was gangraped which again is a huge issue to preserve the human rights. 

To establish normalcy the ethnic divisions should be disappeared and the wounds should be healed. It is that only a comprehensive peace process that can bring normalcy to Manipur. It is much more important to protect the human rights of the people in a representative democratic form of government. It is not about a vote in every 5 years, but the constant accountability that one must carry throughout the tenure  

Gujarat riots: The most vulnerable incident in the history of Independent India, is Godhra tragedy, which was followed by the Gujarat riots, the classic example on the violation of human rights and the violation of the duty to protect the human rights of the citizens. The machinery of the government has utterly failed, and the involvement of the police in assisting the 24-hour riots was enough to bow the Indian heads to the shame. The riots were negating the basic declaration of the constitution that, “we, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist SECULAR Democratic Republic and secure all its citizens…unity and integrity of the nation”.  This should be changed not only when a violation occurs but also when it is need to prevent any, the national and state commissions must examine whether violations of human rights were committed or abetted or resulted from negligence in the prevention of such violations. This is a duty to continue and follow developments in and around the states to conquest the tragic incidents that can occur. It is required to monitor the compliance of the state with the rule of law and its human rights and obligations.

There are many such instances where human rights violations took place like Punjab mass cremations, starvation deaths in Orissa, encounter deaths in Andhra Pradesh and many more. 

Case laws on protection of human rights: 

  1. Arrest, detention, and Interrogation: D.K. Basu v. state of west Bengal 

The judgement has, laid done few requirements and to be followed, in all cases of arrest or detention. The guidelines now are mandatory for the police to follow. But the reality is that the laminated guidelines are still being neglected in the ground level police stations. The transformation should be seen from grass roots. Though there are few instances in the trial courts where the victims are being coerced, to not express the truth about the torture in police custody. This has to be carefully looked into by the sitting judge and deliver justice.

  1. Handcuffing and fetters:  Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration: 

The judgement has expanded the scope of prisoners’ rights and laid down guidelines to prevent custodial torture and protect the dignity of prisoners. Despite their conviction they have to treated humanely and given basic needs. No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. No irons shall be forced on a person in a revengeful spirit. 

  1. Bail: Hussainara Khatoon v. home secretary state of Bihar. 

The court observed that the poor are indirectly being denied the justice, it is sometimes they are living in jail for the period which can be the maximum period for their offence. The trial prisoners are completely denied justice and fundamental rights. The judges have advised the parliament to look into the bail system and suggest few changes.

  1. Custodial violence and compensation: 
  • Khatri v. state of Bihar & others: known as one of the darkest times in the independent India’s history, it was called operation ganga Jal and the worst form of torture was committed by pouring acid into the eyes of the prisoners and the act was being justified stating that by committing crime they create debt, by suffering the pain they get releved of the debt. This is a purest form of human rights violation.
  • Rudul shah v. state of Bihar: court introduced the concept of compensation for the breach of the fundamental rights. 
  • Nilabati behra v. state of orrisa: the custodial death of Nillabati’s sum was compensated and it shall be a precedent where, when the state violates the constitutional right of life to any citizen, it has an obligation to provide compensation. 
  1. Free and fair trial: Zaheera Habibullah sheikh v. state of Gujarat: 

The failure to accord fair hearing either to the accused or the prosecution violates even minimum standards of due process of law. The witness should not be threatened or forced to give false evidence.

  1. Rights of women : Child sexual abuse: 

State of Punjab  v. Gurmit singh

The courts are asked to deal with the sensitive cases with much more compassion and not to cause any irreparable damage to the victims in the name of public trials.

Sexual harassment in work places is also a major human rights issue and the case in this light is the Visakha v. state of Rajasthan the court laid 11 guidelines and directed to be followed strictly I all workplaces for the preservation and enforcement of the right to gender equality of the working women. 


   The Human rights commissions has to strive to attain much greater degree of civilization in the society. The            commissions and organizations strive to promote universality which can honor diversity and should remain that human rights are non-negotiable and it should be reclaimed as a foundation to find solutions to the common problems. Forge the future, and develop a supportive engagement, to develop the trust in the Human rights and uphold the rights.

Howsoever, the society is being advance in all the fields the embers of racism, misogyny, inequality and hatred still exist in the society both in the marginal and elitist societies. The inherent form of discrimination on the basis of class, religion, and caste still prevails though not publicly and formally embraced. The supporting factors can sometimes be the local politics and the representatives. The acts that are made for the welfare of women, and united nations human rights treaties are to be always kept in accord with the domestic acts and policies. Engaging the correct policies and ensuring the humane living conditions can develop the existing human rights. Practice and preservation should go hand in hand. 

“Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human beings entitlement by virtue of his humanity.”- Mother Teresa. 

Author: Chandanasriya.k, a Student of Damodaram Sanjeevaya National Law University

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