The Parliament had passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on July this year. Human rights and fundamental freedoms are vital parts of our everyday life as they allow us to fully develop our potential as human beings. Therefore, the National Human Rights Commission is a vital part of our democracy. However, 13 out of 15 positions of the chairpersons of SHRCs were vacant and the post of chairperson of NHRC also remained vacant for a long time. Therefore, this amended Act seeks to prevent the problem of vacancies of these essential posts.
Access to justice is a fundamental right, as well as a prerequisite for the protection of all other human rights. Norms and standards relating to access to justice for persons with disabilities are set out in a series of binding and non-binding instruments at international and regional levels. Across the world, persons with disabilities encounter considerable obstacles in terms of access to justice. Aiming to make it easier for disabled people around the world to access the justice system, The United Nations has released its first-ever guidelines on access to social justice for people with disabilities recently.
On July 24, 2019, the Lok Sabha has passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. This bill, if made into a law, will replace the already existing Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Ever since its presentation in the lower house, this bill has been a subject of controversy. This bill is considered by some to be draconian in nature.
According to Amnesty International, the act once amended can designate any individual a terrorist, thus violating international human rights laws and opening the floodgate of harassment of the Human Rights defenders and activists.