Promoting cooperative governance in India : the case of protection and promotion of human rights

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The responsibility for the enforcement of the human rights laws in India lies on the shoulders of a number of executive and judicial authorities located at various levels of governments in the country. Indeed, the whole gamut of the human rights laws need to be put into practice both by the individuals on the one hand and the governmental agencies on the other. However, given the federal structure of governance in the country, the responsibility for the protection and promotion of human rights has been dovetailed into the various agencies functioning at the central, state and the local levels. But in the routine politico-administrative set up of the country, the judiciary has been assigned the task of hearing the complaints of the violation of human rights and providing relief to the people through judicial pronouncements. In this respect, while Article 32 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court, the high courts draw their authority from Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. Thus, while at the apex of the administrative structure an exclusive Human Rights Cell has been set up in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in 1993 to coordinate and implement the policies and programmes on human rights. The Supreme Court stands at the apex of the judicial system of the country for protecting the human rights of the people from violations on the part of both the individuals as well as the state agencies. In 1993, with the creation of the National Human Rights Commission at the Centre and the State Human Rights Commissions in various states, the governance of human rights in India gained a new dimension in which cooperative governance become sine quo non for protection and promotion of the human rights in the country. This article analyses the promotion of cooperative governance in India drawing on the case of protection and promotion of human rights.