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No. 54- WBHRC dt. 12.9.95. In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (No.1 0 of 1994), the West Bengal Human Rights Commission hereby makes the following Regulations, namely:

1. Short Title and Commencement:

(1) These Regulations may be called the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (Procedure)
     Regulations, 1995.

(2) They shall come into force with effect from the 15th day of September, 1995.

2. Definitions:

In these Regulations unless the context otherwise requires :

(a) "Act" means the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

(b) "State Commission" means the West Bengal Human Rights Commission constituted under
     sub- section (1) of section 21 of the Act.

(c) The "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the State Commission.

(d) "Member" means a Member of the State Commission and includes the Chairperson.

(e) The "State Government" means the Government of West Bengal.

 3. Venue of the Meeting:

The State Commission shall ordinarily hold its meetings and sittings in its office located at Calcutta. However, it may, in its discretion, hold its meetings and sittings at any other place if it considers it necessary and expedient.

4. Periodicity of meetings:

The State Commission shall ordinarily have its regular sittings in the first and third week of every month, excepting holidays. However, the Chairperson by himself or at the instance of one or more of the Members may direct a special sitting of the State Commission to be convened to consider any specific matter of urgency.

5. Secretariat Assistance:

The Secretary along with such other officers of the State Commission as may be directed by the Chairperson, or considered necessary, may be present during the meetings of the State Commission.

6. Agenda:

The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Chairperson, prepare the agenda for each meeting of the State Commission and shall cause notes thereon to be prepared by the Secretariat. Such notes shall, as far as possible, be self- contained. Specific files covering the agenda items shall be made readily available to the State Commission for reference. The agenda papers shall ordinarily be circulated to the Members at least two clear days in advance of every meeting, but when matters are set down only for hearing, cause list of the day of sitting shall be prepared and circulated. The State Commission may, however, take up any matter for deliberation, which is not included in the agenda of the meeting.

7. Procedure for dealing with complaints:

(1) All complaints received by the State Commission shall be registered and assigned a number.
No fee is chargeable on complaints.

(2) Ordinarily complaints of the following nature are not entertain able by the State Commission ;

   (a) with regard to matters which are sub-judice;

   (b) which are vague, anonymous or pseudonymous or (c) which are of frivolous nature.

(3) The State Commission shall not entertain

   (a) matters alleging violation of human rights after expiry of one year from the date of the
   act complained of;

   (b) matters which are pending before National Human Rights Commission or any other
   Commission duly constituted under the law;

   (c) other matters which are outside the purview of the State Commission.

(4) Every complaint, as far as practicable, shall disclose all the relevant facts leading to the complaint to enable the State Commission to take action. The State Commission may ask for further information or direct filing of affidavit in support of allegations.

(5) The State Commission may, in its discretion, accept telegraphic complaints and complaints conveyed through Fax.

(6) The Chairperson shall have power to constitute bench (s) and distribute business of the State Commission to such bench (s).

(7) Complaints received by the State Commission shall be placed by its Secretariat before a bench constituted for considering whether such complaints will be entertained/admitted or not.

(8) The State Commission shall have power to dismiss a complaint in limini.

(9) Upon admission of a complaint, the admission bench shall direct whether the matter would be set down for inquiry or should be investigated into.

(10) On every complaint on which a decision is taken to either hold an inquiry or investigation, the Secretariat shall call for reports/comments from the State Government/Concerned authority giving the latter a reasonable time therefore.

(11) On receipt of the reports/comments of the State Government/concerned authority, a detailed note of the case shall be prepared by the Secretariat for consideration of the State Commission.

(12) The directions and recommendations of the State Commission shall be communicated to the State Government/concerned authority and also the petitioner as provided for in section 18 of the Act.

(13) The State Commission may, in its discretion, afford a personal hearing to the petitioner or any other person on his behalf and such other person or persons as in the opinion of the State Commission should be heard for appropriate disposal of the matter before it and, where necessary, call for records and examine witnesses in connection with it.

(14) Where investigation is undertaken by the team of the State Commission or by any other person under its discretion, the report shall be submitted within the time fixed or such further time as the State Commission may allow. The State Commission may, in its discretion, direct further investigation in a given case if it is of opinion that investigation has not been proper or the matter requires further investigation for ascertaining the truth or enabling it to properly dispose of the matter. On receipt of the report, the State Commission on its own motion, or if moved in the matter, may direct inquiry to be carried by it and receive evidence in course of such inquiry.

(15) The State Commission or any of its Members when requested by the Chairperson may undertake visits for an on the spot study and where such a study is undertaken by one or more Members, a report thereon shall be furnished to the State Commission as early as possible.

8. Minutes of the Meeting:

(a) The minutes of each meeting of the State Commission shall be recorded during the meeting itself or immediately thereafter by the Secretary or by any other officer as directed. Such minutes shall be submitted to the Chairperson for his approval and upon approval be circulated to all the Members of the State Commission at the earliest and in any case, sufficiently before the commencement of the next meeting.

(b) The decision of the State Commission in every matter undertaken by it shall be recorded in the form of an opinion. Dissenting opinion, if any, shall also form part of and be kept on record. Action shall be taken on the basis of the majority opinion where there may be any difference.

(c) Follow-up Action:
Unless specifically authorised, no action shall be taken by the Secretariat of the State Commission on the minutes of the meetings until the same are approved by the Chairperson.

9. Record of minutes:

A master copy of the minutes of every meeting and opinions of the State Commission shall be maintained duly authenticated by the Secretary and a copy of the minutes pertaining to each item shall be placed in the relevant file for appropriate action. Opinions shall be kept in the respective records and for convenience, copies thereof with appropriate indexing shall be kept in guard files.

10. Report of Action Taken:

Report of follow-up action shall be submitted to the State Commission at every subsequent sitting indicating therein the present stage of action on each item on which the State Commission had taken a decision in any of its earlier meetings, excepting the items on which no further action is called for.

11. Transaction of business outside the Headquarters:

The State Commission or some of the Members may transact business at places outside its Headquarters as and when previously approved by the Chairperson, provided that if parties are to be heard in connection with any inquiry under the Act, at least two Members shall constitute the bench of the State Commission for such purpose.

12. Authentication of orders and decisions:

(1) Orders and decisions of the State Commission shall be authenticated by the Secretary or any officer of the State Commission (authorised by the Chairperson) not below the rank of an Assistant Secretary. .

(2) Copies of orders passed finally disposing of matters by the State Commission shall be furnished free of cost to the petitioner or his representative.

(3) Copies of any other document, which is not classified by the State Commission as confidential, would be expeditiously available to the parties in the matter on payment of a fee of Rs. 5/- per page. The Chairperson may, however, waive such fee in appropriate cases.

13. Annual Report:

The State Commission shall submit its annual report for the period commencing from 1 st April of the year to 31st March of the succeeding year to the State Government as provided in Section 20 (1) of the Act. The original of the report shall be signed by the Chairperson and Members of the State Commission and appropriately preserved and a duly authenticated copy shall be sent to the State Government by end of May of every year.

14. Special Reports:

The State Commission may submit such special reports on specific matters as may be considered necessary in terms of Section 20 (1) of the Act.

15. Reports on Complaints and Inquiries:

Every report to which Section 18 of the Act applies shall be sent immediately to the concerned authority or State Government, as the case may be, after the completion of the proceedings before the State Commission and on receipt of the comments of the concerned authority or State Government the State Commission shall publish the report in the manner provided in section 18 (6) of the Act.

16. Printing of the Report:

The Secretary of the State Commission be responsible for the printing of the Annual Report and Special Reports with utmost expedition and in any case, not later than two months of finalisation of the same.

17. Investigation Team:

The State Commission shall have its own team of investigation to be headed by a person not below the rank of an Inspector General of Police and such team shall consist of officers and staff as the State Commission from time to time may decide. The State Commission may in any given case appoint an appropriate number of outsiders to be associated with the investigation either as Investigators or Observers.

18. Miscellaneous:

In matters, which are not covered by these Regulations, it shall be competent for the State Commission to make appropriate directions. The State Commission may add, delete, amplify and amend these Regulations from time to time.

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