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Human Rights – Role of NGOs

I am delighted and honoured to be here this evening. And I am particularly grateful for opportunity to speak with you about a subject that has assumed very great global importance, be that an advance country, developed nation or under developed country. No single phrase in recent human history has been more privileged to bear the mission and burden of human destinity than the phrase “Human Rights”. The reason behind it is that “ the millions of men, women, youth and children around the world will be born, live and die and never know they are owners of human rights “ says Ivanka Corti, former chairperson of CEDAW. The history of mankind is marked by efforts to insure respect for the dignity of human th being. Although the term human rights entered in modern language in 16 century, it was operating for the freedom of expression; later with a realistic fashion, it was re-affirmed the gospel Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. The uniqueness of the declaration lies is the fact that it represents a worldwide charter of rights proclaimed “Universal” and “Fundamental” freedoms, which transcends national, religious, cultural and ideological factors. This is a primary international articulation of the fundamental and inalienable rights in all members of human family on earth. The Universal Declaration has now become a cornerstone of International Law and living document; that is why an oppressed individual turn increasingly to the Universal Declaration for protection and relief. That, means the international law on human rights is widely accepted as primary building block of National law which is regarded as indispensable tool in upholding human rights for all. The rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration and subsequent in International Covenants on economic, social and cultural as well as civil and political rights address the rights of individual human person but they set forth individual rights in context to larger society. The basic principle is that all human being are born free and equal in dignity and rights, for which the United Nations has adopted holistic approach in determining what human rights are. Human Rights are all about the life, liberty, freedom, security and dignity of men, women, youth and children. In our country Part III fundamental rights and Part IV Directive Principal of State Policy of the Constitution are best perceived with the ethos and spirit of United Nations Declaration. The Preamble of the Constitution of India is the evidence for this. I am happy to tell you that, human rights in India are explored onwards from the judicial interpretation of the expression “right to life and personal liberty” as appearing in Article 21 of the Constitution. As per Article 37, Directive Principles of State Policy are not justiciable in the court of law, but the Supreme Court on interpreting provisions of Part IV, however, brought in to Play in Part III - fundamental rights, a new set of rights based on Principle of Social Justice as fundamental rights. That is why it is said Part III of the Constitution is the heart of the human rights and it is consonance with principles laid down in Universal Declaration of human rights. For example right to life includes right to live with human dignity and all those aspects of life which go to make man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living, that which alone can make it possible to live with dignity. Therefore, right to life includes right to livelihood right to food, right to shelter, right of enjoyment of pollution free water and air for full enjoyment of life, free education until the child completes age of 14 years, right to health, right to live with human dignity free from any kind of exploitation, to be protected against unfair or oppressive police methods in the interrogation of the suspects, right of arrestee or under trial prisoners, right to speedy trial, rights to free legal assistance at state cost, right to development, right to work and livable wages and so on. The Supreme Court of India protected the right of HIV affected person to medical treatment and also right to privacy of a women of easy virtue. The human freedom is the freedom from want, fear, ignorance and equal protection against any kind of discrimination based on caste, religion etc. Poverty is a human rights violation, and freedom from poverty is an integral and inalienable human right. Look at the “hunger”. It is the worst of diseases (Component), existence, the worst of distress. Hunger is enemy of man for his misery and ignorance. When man is craving for food he suffers from starvation. Starvation is the violation of human rights. In this context I would like to remind
Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane, Acting Chairperson, Maharashtra State Human Rights, Commission, at Giants International Meet, Mumbai on 31/7/04.

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Mumbai on 31/7/04. It is about weaving the Fundamental Rights as well as Conventional Rights and the responsibilities deep into the public service ethos. The Act defines the human rights to mean the rights relating to life. as said earlier human rights becomes the part of our country’s law. Laxman’s carton. protecting and promoting human rights. at Giants International Meet. Indian Parliament as a member of United Nations has enacted that. That is how. at the National Level. Sound and vibrant national government institutions – legislature. Such programmes are very wide in their scope. environmental issues and life with dignity. Under the Act. The international Institutions or organizations have been developed to enforce the Paris Principles to a minimum standard. The composition of the State Human Rights Commission and its powers and functions are reflected in the statute itself. Therefore. This text was re-affirmed at Vienna World Conference on Human Rights in 1993. in the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights. which are ratified by India. at this conference. the “Paris Principles” were negotiated.you that difference between starvation and fasting. ranging from many aspects of right to life. community organizations. 2 . But they are not the only ones involved in human rights and sustainable human development. A feature of recent years has been the establishment in many countries of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). The Commission has been assigned variety of responsibilities. The Human Rights Commissions are established for protection. the prisons – spreading primary education. The Act contains the provision. There are other civil organizations such as human rights NGO’s and other lawrelated NGO’s.K. whereby the public authority is made answerable for violation of human rights. They focus on form and structure. United Nations took the view that human rights standards are universal. Thus the Act makes a novel announcement of new culture in respect of promotion and protection of human rights. I came across R. Maharashtra State Human Rights. Commission. They are enshrined. They also play a crucial role in monitoring. It is a new Institution. There is provision to constitute human rights courts. as used in Art. They were subsequently adopted by the General Assembly. protecting and promoting human rights. not out comes. observance. executive and judiciary are crucial to establishing enabling environments for eliminating poverty. nutritional problems which adversely affect the physical and mental growth. It is independent and autonomous body. liberty – the police. promoting equality and protecting the environment. which is telling: the press photographer goes with camera to click a photograph when the person tells him that he was starving and not fasting. Civil society organizations can monitor human rights even under extreme or authoritarian political conditions. promotion and study of human rights as specified under constitution and International Covenants. Government institutions are responsible for respecting. The one who you have come to photograph is the one who is fasting. Acting Chairperson. The Paris Principles lay down a set of minimum standards for the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution. problems of health. 1993 is the new law on Indian soil. which cover inquiries into individual complaints of human rights violations by Public Servant. which are inter related in more than one is being under taken by the Commission. in essence. schools. abetment thereof or negligence to prevent such violation by public servant. neglected orphan and other unfortunate children in the State. there is a statutory duty on public servant to act in accordance with the concept of human rights. This Act is about the building of rights and responsibilities culture. Socio-economic NGOs. Human Rights in India are further explored onwards by Judicial Interpretation of the expression “Right to life and personal liberty. Also. The Human Rights Act called the Protection of Human Rights Act. as well as number of societal issues impinging on human rights in the State. liberty. The variety of programmes relating to social issues. Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. 21 of the Constitution by insertion of new rights derived from Part – IV. and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution and embodied in the International covenants. equality. National Human Rights Commission whereas at State level State Human Rights Commissions have been established. abolition of child labour. which are enforceable by Courts in India. Directive Principles of State Policy in Part – III. women’s advocacy groups and the media. Strengthening governance through human rightsrelated capacity development will help achieve these goals. indigenous people’s organizations. Every public servant is under legal obligation to play full part in building new human rights culture.

helping to establish anti discriminatory practices and achieve socio-economic. Child labour.Now. groups. and providing counseling in number of matter including domestic disputes. The declaration in 1998 on rights and responsibilities of individuals. such as in prevention of HIV / AIDS. It is a matter of experience that some times their mere presence of an individual to monitor and witness can provide effective protection against human rights abuses. it is now recognized that individuals. There cannot be no true enjoyment of human rights by all where some are excluded by discrimination and prejudice or disadvantage and under development. legislatures and electoral bodies are crucial to the protection and promotion of human rights. child exploitation. The declaration of human rights defenders recognizes this role in promoting human rights and fundamental freedom and in safeguarding and strengthening democracy and democracy institutions and processes. information. (Times of India. There is growing recognition at the International Level of the importance of human rights defenders. However. the programme of action. To call the role of NGOs “crucial” is simply not sufficient. in present days non-governmental organizations engaging in promotion and protection of human rights at all the local. contributing to more effective human rights programming. It is true that primary duty to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedom lies with the State. laying down a set of principles and rules designed to insure the freedom action of human rights activists. Therefore. NGOs play a pivotal role in many fields. 3 . Another notable element is that States are called upon to “ strengthen cooperation develop partnership and consult regularly with non-governmental organization and allow other sectors of civil society to harness their experience and expertise”. local governance and support to civil society organizations can empower people and local organizations to claim and exercise their rights or carry out human rights advocacy. and associations have the rights and responsibility to promote respect for and foster knowledge of human rights to all a core cluster of rights necessary to human rights defenders. it is necessary for NGOs to be given new strength and resolve in their actions. national. NGOs are regarded as a crucial vehicle in follow-up initiatives. Decentralization. National and local judiciary. The NGOs play important role to become a concrete expression of International. outreach and networking. They can ensure the rule and enforcement of the law. groups and organs of society to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedom. Regional and Local voice to assist and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves. and regional level become more tangible. Commission. An effective executive branch can provide leadership in promoting legislation and implementing human rights laws and programmes. opinion and expression and access to participation in the conduct of public affairs. It is the need of hour to promote the twin pillars of equality and nondiscrimination. Civil service reforms can help better formulate governance strategies. political and cultural equality. This declaration on human rights defenders is a fundamental one. subject relating to rights women and children and so on Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. child care. procedures and rules. The first major acknowledgement is the adoption by the United Nations. Similarly. I think. Not only that but declaration goes to further cover such issue as the freedom to solicit. bonded labour. through investigating and bring to light human rights abuses. the government’s recent decision to include NGO’s in key areas of Policy formation and review has been vouched. to educate to teach and train vulnerable groups. It urges the States to provide and open conducive environment to enable non governmental organizations to function freely and openly within their societies and thereby make an effective contribution to elimination of racism. communication. of June 6/7. It may be noted that silence nourishes oppression. To discharge obligation effectively. at Giants International Meet. sex tourism. Acting Chairperson. racial discrimination and related tolerance throughout the world and to promote a wider role for grass roots organizations. These are set out – the right of assembly. association. I turn to the crucial role that to be played or being played by non-governmental organizations for short NGOs as that of human rights defenders. Maharashtra State Human Rights. Mumbai on 31/7/04. suggested in Durban conference is of paramount consideration. Encouraging and supporting society at all kinds at all levels is a priority in the present day situation. they are integral and indispensable to the implementation of human rights. the role of NGOs in follow – up action in promotion of equality cannot be overstated. National. familiar guarantees of effective remedies and emphasis on education and training of public and officials – reflected in the declaration. 2004). Therefore. That is why. Indeed. receive and utilize resources for the purpose of promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms. Therefore.

Men and women of full age. no sense of mission. Acting Chairperson. have the right to marry and to form a family. In case of state of Karnataka v. Knowledge of the Convention on the Human rights be disseminated to all concerned. NGOs can carry on their policies and actions on continuous while government organizations depend too much on the policy appraisal sheet. The NGOs can involve other “actors”. It seeks to establish a new an ideal society. It is essential that more and more people be made to realize more clearly that there should be increased human rights inspection and publicizing the abuses. Government officials “are told” to do things on which they may have very little idea of what it is all about. Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. I am of the view that building awareness among the population is still a “must”. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage. Thus NGOs supplement the efforts made by government. it is equally important for NGOs to portray such problems in the society and encourage the people for realizing the human rights of everyone and everywhere. or years. Appa Balu Ingle (1995 Supp SCC 469) as ruled that the disabilities. or minority either of them meets with death. All mass media should be used to portray the problems and encourage people to be a part of this movement. ranging from the regulations of hazardous wastes to a global ban on land mines and the elimination of slavery. A lot of money is wasted through bureaucratic handling. Similarly. 2. nationality or religion. the private sector. Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion. Importance of the role of NGO can be explained from another angle. scheduled tribe. at Giants International Meet. the preparation of “qualified” personnel is more difficult to meet all the needs. while the GOs are more reluctant to do so. The sad truth is that we find everyday news about the atrocity committed on male or female of different caste marrying at their free will and consent for instance a male or female belonging to different caste such as scheduled caste. In this sense. caste or place of birth. Maharashtra State Human Rights. Mumbai on 31/7/04. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and State. GOs have long line of command. The GOs have to wait for decision making from “above” which may take weeks. without limitation due to race. Therefore. Commission. Perhaps. The financial overhead of the GOs works is higher than that of the NGOs and often is untimely. I do not know if any NGO of repute has taken these issues at a scale. Campaigning groups have been key driver of inter governmental negotiations. during marriage and at its dissolution. it is here more than any other area that NGOs shall take up such social issues diligently and with determination for a cultural change among the people for protecting human rights. Article 17 of the Constitution of India says “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. International motivation is at a different level among the personnel of the GOs and that of the NGOs. 3. The thrust of this Article is to liberate the society from blind and ritualistic adherence and traditional beliefs. To end the subject. Local NGOs reach the grass-root level and provide relief to disaster – affected people. to which Dalits were subjected. The instances of discrimination on ground of caste / religion are also frequently reported but no collective voice condemning such atrocities is raised . Identical provision is there in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. have been outlawed and subjecting them to those disabilities would be violative of Part III and Part IV of the Constitution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of intending spouses. for example. NGOs projects are usually smaller when compared to those of the GOs where everything has to be done “nationally”. 4 . months. In certain areas there has been little response from NGOs. and it takes a long time to decide on appropriate strategies or possible changes of course in the middle of project. Article 16 says that :1.NGOs thus are playing a major role in pushing for sustainable development not only at International level but local and National Level. The NGOs can adjust quickly and are more flexible in the implementation of their plans and policies. and no specific target to achieve especially in terms of impact while it could be the opposite for the NGOs. race.

caring. governance touches directly on legal instrument. That means human Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. To refresh our memory it may be stated that United Nations Human Rights Instruments – notably the Universal Declaration of human rights states that. equality and basic rights in peace – building in action. The work of human rights all over the world is to promote to social justice. I tell you broadly what the freedom of information Act intends. and accountability in the functioning of the of the police. creative lives in accord with their needs and interest. intolerance and prejudice. rules and procedures of these institutions should be radically overhauled to reduce the possibility of their contribution to the violation of human rights of our citizens.. the primary responsibility lies on government institutions for respecting. by enacting the Freedom of Information Act. But they are not only ones involved in human rights-sustainable human development. for governmental and non-governmental institutions to process affecting human rights. protecting and promoting human rights. providing – direct support to human rights institutions – promoting and protecting human rights in post – conflict societies.media. If we are serious about human rights we must address ignorance in all its forms. to rebellion against oppressive or injustice that the freedom of information should be the most important remedy. Concern for human rights and good governance. Community assistance programs could also be organized and attention is given to the causes of the problems. which has also been adopted independently by most of the States in our country with different nomenclature as ‘Right to Information Act’. As I have told you earlier. and sensitive to other people’s sorrows and joys and human rights cannot be secured in a society where these qualities are weak. 2000 and I quote: “Law cannot teach a person to be compassionate. it is necessary that the NGOs where working in district.It is. enabling environments. tahasils and villages shall involve community participation.. Maharashtra State Human Rights. Sustainable human development here I mean to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy. whether it be advocacy.. Human development is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive. Wherever necessary. 5 . In other words atrocities on Dalits. women and poor and the weak cannot be stopped by legal methods alone. the relationship between human rights and governance is essential. UN High Commissioner. it is now sought to be reflected... efficiency. Mumbai on 31/7/04.” (Unquote) It is my hope that NGOs are able to do a lot more than what I have just mentioned. All people working in these institutions should bear in mind a simple guiding principle: The more we enforce the rule of law. Acting Chairperson. I emphasis what our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpaye said in his speech at the presentation of the Rotray India award on human rights on June 23. “ the will of people shall be the basis of the authority of the government and reiterates that every one has a right to take a part in the government of his country directly or through freely chosen representatives and that every one has the right of equal access to public service. and protective or rehabilitative measures. If man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort.We should spare no effort to infuse greater sensitivity. Ignorance is a constant threat to human rights – it breeds discrimination. Before. It is in that view of the matter. therefore. and socio-cultural reforms in creating environment in which respect for human rights becomes the natural trait of citizens and institutions. preventive. In this regard. the better we promote human rights. necessary that we pay far better attention than we have done so far to the role of education. as in case of identifying children at risk in difficult circumstances and parents or families without proper guardians who are poor. The best way to do this is through education. Social maladies call for social remedies. administration and other institutions that have a direct bearing on the human rights of citizens. Thus. healthy and creative lives. it is to be emphasized that human rights are integrated with governance programming in three ways :Building human rights capacity in governance institutions.To achieve this object. There is a saying – “if you desire peace you must first cultivate justice. Human Rights.” said Mary Robinson. In my opinion major role lies in educating and understanding the human rights. 2002. Education protects human rights much more effectively than any punitive or legal regime. at Giants International Meet. Commission.

The Central Act namely the Freedom of Information Act. building self-respect and respect of others. 2002 intents to provide for freedom to every citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authority consistence with public interest. The rules and guidelines to give effect to the law has now been announced. 6 . the need arises for civil service reform and help better. implementation and evaluation. It is acknowledge the world over that decentralisation. decentralization and legislative capacity and lastly. The capacity development to build more sustainable and holistic human development thus depends upon mostly the right to information on freedom of information. UN Declaration on rights to development. thereby encouraging people’s participation at all stages of programme initiation. health services. by formulating government strategies. The human freedom are the freedoms from poverty. ignorance and discrimination of all forms etc. the United Nations has created a number of mechanisms and procedures to influence the conduct of government that violates human rights and one of the mechanisms is the freedom of information. Therefore. on the distribution between public and private human rights violations and in consequence for human rights development programme and NGOs action. to secure access to the basic resources. employment and the fair distribution of income. promoting rule of law. helping to establish non-discriminatory practices and achieve socioeconomic. in order to promote openness. local governance and support to civil society organizations can empower people and local organization to claim and exercise their rights to carry out human rights advocacy. contributing to more effective human rights programming. at Giants International Meet. political and cultural equality but our experiences are otherwise. the human development concept has been further developed within the United Nations system which tends to use the term “sustainable human development” by recognizing the centrality of the human dimension to development in Declaration on the Rights to Development. Thus. political and administrative authority to manage the country’s affairs at all levels – good governance is among other things participatory. doing so. and advocated to promote partnership with NGOs and civil society organizations. the establishment of a strong legal framework of government transparency in the country received a fillip in this month only and that too on the direction of the Supreme Court on July 13. Therefore. Acting Chairperson. transparency. Now broadly stated. They can ensure the rule of law and enforcement of law. they protect the rights of minority. Mumbai on 31/7/04. Maharashtra State Human Rights. Though the Act was passed in 2002. United Nations proclaimed a number of declaration to deal with social welfare programmes and development. procedure and rules. transparent and accountable”.as well as Part IV – Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy embodied in the Constitution aim to secure these objects. they provide clarity on international commitment and obligations. The NGOs benefit from exercising the right to information so as to guarantee the basic rights (social. “development is a human rights”. formation and design. education. civil and political). helping to secure the well-being and dignity of all people. outreach and net working. The United Nations Development Policy defines governance as. Commission. judicial independence. women and children as well as disadvantaged groups. People must be free to exercise their choices and to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. 1986 states that.development shares a common vision with human rights. they also benefit from building their expertise and knowledge on specific legislation. housing. participation. Therefore. 2004 in public interest litigation. It is also effective and equitable. The goal is human freedoms. transparency and accountability in administration and in relation to matters connected there with or incidental thereto. The Preamble of the Constitution of India and Part III . and received assent of the President in January.” the exercise of economic. the information is the key for : • democratic process and good governance • poverty eradication and human development • realization of human rights Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. food. cultural. Friends. There can not be any dual opinion that the constitutional functionaries are crusial to the protection and promotion of human rights. This object of the Act can be explained on basis of concept of human rights and good governance in public management programme. 2003. economic. human development and human rights are mutually reinforcing. which address such issues as accountability.

III) diskettes. all citizens shall have freedom of information”. and VI) the name. III) the norms set by the public authority for the discharge of its functions. 7 . the seen that it is for the first time some important duties are placed upon public authority. It is. 8 provides exemption from disclosure of Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. Chapter 2 deals with freedom of information and obligations of public authority. designation and other particulars of the Public information Officer . Section 5 provides a safeguard to the applicant who applies for information in the matter involving the issue of life. and publish all the material facts relating to any project. b) publish at such intervals as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government or competent authority :I) the particulars of its organisation. whether administrative or quasi-judicial to those affected by such decisions. 6 of the Act lays down minutes as to how information should be asked for. But sec.7 lays down the procedure for Public Information Officer to deal with such applications. Now considering broadly the relevant provisions in the Act. to live with dignity. that facts available to it or to which it has reasonable access which in its opinion should be known to them in the best interests of natural justice and promotion of democratic principles.The right to information in India has been declared to be a fundamental right by the Supreme Court even before the Act was enacted and it is linked to the right to life. That necessary follows. Commission. taking of extracts and notes. floppies or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device. air. True that each government department maintains the records as per the rules but now there is no option. 2 (c) “Freedom of information” means the right to obtain information from any public authority by means of :I) inspection. Maharashtra State Human Rights. II) certified copies of any records of such public authority. V) the details of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information. manuals and other categories of records under its control used by its employees for discharging its functions. Lastly. as the case may be. 4 castes obligations on the public authorities by providing that – Every public authority shall a) maintain all its records. Acting Chairperson. II) the powers and duties of its officers and employees and the procedure followed by them in the decision making process. under clause (d) “Information” is defined to mean any material in any form relating to the administration. it becomes the duty of every public authority to maintain records etc. at Giants International Meet. However. it may be stated that under sec. publish or communicate to the public generally or to the persons affected or likely to be affected by the project in particular. of the receipt of the application. 21 of the Constitution of India. IV) rules. 3 confers the right of information to all citizens and says – “subject to provisions of this Act. it is mandatory to furnish him such information within 24 hrs. Sec. privacy etc. water. functions and duties. operations or decisions of a public authority. It will thus. education. which includes right to food health. regulations. that is in writing or through electronic means. d) give reasons for its decisions. under clause (f) “ The Public Authority” means prescribed by rules made under this act by the appropriate government or the competent authority. to be noted that Sub. liberty. c) publish all relevant facts concerning important decisions and policies that affect the public while announcing such decision and policies. Sec. In such case. liberty of the person. Mumbai on 31/7/04. the denial of the information would constitute a denial of the right enshrined in Art. in such manner and form as is consistent with its operational requirements duly catalogued and indexed. however. Sec. Sec. e) before initiating any project. instructions.

including making public appointments.information in matters enumerated therein. 16. Integrity : Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals reorganizations. It is worth noting that some difference is going to make if one is embraced with the right to information. Sec. 11 to furnish third party information on certain conditions and lastly. there is also provision in sec. Let us. Sec. There is a provision in sec. 12 for appeals against the decision of public information officer. 15 creates the bar of jurisdiction of courts. Accountability : Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office. • conduct of international relations. 4. • detection and investigation of an offence or which may lead to an incitement to commit an offence or prejudicially affect fair trial or adjudication or a pending case. • public safety and order. the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect. Objectivity : In carrying out public business. non-violence that of strong”. Maharashtra State Human Rights. 2. Honesty : Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest. • 8 . • contravention of a lawful order of a Court.Mahatma Gandhi. however. or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits. • cabinet papers. Selflessness : Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. Openness : Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. in certain cases as a safeguard against the misuse of the right of information. minutes or records of advice including legal advice. 5. • opinions or recommendations made by officer or a public authority during the decision making process. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves. • the sovereignty and integrity of India. Let us join our efforts with a view to making human rights a reality for everyone and everywhere. or their friends. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands. • trade or commercial secrets or information. • strategic. I may recall here the seven lamps described as standard of public life. at Giants International Meet. we must ensure that NGOs keep the fire burning to carry their crucial role. 3. hope this Act may reduce the burden on ex-chequer. Leadership : Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example” Therefore. 7. that might influence them in the performance of their official duties. scientific or economic interest of India . such as information. awarding contracts. 6. therefore. empowers the Central government to decide to which authority the act would apply and to which it would cease to apply. Mumbai on 31/7/04. or • information relating to occurrence 25 years before the date of applications. Acting Chairperson. as essential part of social service. security of the State. Here I would like to add that generally the litigation before the court is between private person against private party or person against the government but as you know that government is a litigant in most of cases against private individual. “Violence is the weapon of weak. Commission. which may promote positive initiative for the objects to be achieved in the Act and they are:1. holders of public office should make choices on merit. Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. • which may result in the breach of privileges of parliament or the Legislature of a State. or • may prejudicially affect the conduct of Central-State relations. their family. There is also provision for ground to be stated for refusal to accept the request.

Thank you. Mumbai on 31/7/04. 9 . Maharashtra State Human Rights. Commission.By Justice Anant Mane Speech delivered by Justice Anant Mane. . Acting Chairperson. at Giants International Meet.