The protection of human rights act 1993 provides for constitution of a National Human Rights Commission (N.H.R.C.) and State Human Rights Commission (S.H.R.C.). The purpose of the Act is to provide better protection of human rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental to that.
The NHRC may enquire any case on complaint or suo-moto, if there is reason to suspect that human right has been violated in a case. It can summon any person to give evidence and cause production of any document before it. It makes its recommendation for action, to the concerned Government, after completion of inquiry.
It encourages functioning of different non-governmental organizations for protection of human rights. The functions of S.H.R.C. are similar to N.H.R.C. They will not inquire into any matter after expiry of one year from the date on which the protection of human rights act 1993 constituting violation of human rights is alleged to have been committed.
In 1993, National Human Rights Commission has required all District Magistrates/Superintendents of Police to report any instance of custodial death/torture or rape directly to it, within 24 hours of its occurrence, failing which, it will presume that an effort was being made to suppress the occurrence.
In 1995, NHRC has made it clear that the use of third degree methods in investigation constitutes violation of rights of citizens of India. If any person is arrested, the information should be given to the relative or friend about the arrest and place of detention. The compensation due to the next of the kin of those who have suffered custodial death should be the liability both of the State and the erring police officials.
Videography of autopsy is necessary only when the preliminary inquest by the Magistrate raises suspicion of any kind of foul play or where a complaint alleging any foul play has been made to the authorities or there is any other suspicion of foul play. The cassette has to be sent to the Commission under the protection of human rights act 1993.
ANIMALS IN RESEARCH: All animal experiments should be carried out for advancement of knowledge that is expected to be useful for saving or prolonging human life, alleviating suffering and combating disease, whether of human beings or animals or plants.
Animals lowest on the phylogenetic scale (least degree of awareness), which may give scientifically valid results are to be preferred for experiments. Minimum number of animals should be used to give statistically valid results. Alternatives not involving animal testing should be given due consideration.
The researchers should avoid or minimize pain and suffering to animals. All scientific procedures that may cause more than momentary pain should be performed with sedation or anesthesia. After experimentation, euthanasia can be performed only when the animal is unable to perform its natural functions, as per the protection of human rights act 1993.