Nagpur: The three-day open hearing by National Human Rights Commission in 571 cases relating to alleged atrocities against the scheduled castes in Maharashtra began here on Monday.
Inaugurating the hearing, Justice KG Balakrishnan, Chairperson, NHRC, said that despite so many social legislations and welfare schemes, the scheduled castes continued to face problems.
The Commission through its open hearings is trying to reach out to people in different parts of the country and hear their complaints about violations of their rights by public authorities and to solve the problems with cooperation from state governments.
He said that the Commission has no adversarial role to the functioning of state governments and it would help them in good governance.
He said that four open hearings in Odisha, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan earlier have been very successful.
The commission has been receiving one lakh complaints every year and their disposal was a huge task given the limited manpower at its command, he said.
Maharashtra`s Secretary for Social Welfare R D Shinde assured that all the directives of the Commission would be implemented by the State government.
AK Garg, Registrar( Law), NHRC said that the Commission received about 1400 complaints from Maharashtra, out which only 571 could be taken up for open hearing as many of the complaints were time barred.
The Commission did not have the mandate to take cognisance of issues which were old beyond one year.
Out of the 571 complaints, 191 were heard during the open hearing today, according to an official release.