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Human Rights In India

The situation of human rights in India is a complex one, as a result of the country's large size and tremendous diversity, its status as a developing country and a sovereign, secular, democratic republic, and its history as a former colonial territory. The Constitution of India provides for Fundamental rights, which include freedom of religion. Clauses also provide for Freedom of Speech, as well as separation of executive and judiciary and freedom of movement within the country and abroad.

According to the United States Library of Congress, although human rights problems do exist in India, the country is generally not regarded as a human rights concern, unlike other countries in South Asia.[1] Based on these considerations, the 2010 report of Freedom in the World by Freedom House gave India a political rights rating of 2, and a civil liberties rating of 3, earning it the highest possible rating of free[2]

In its report on human rights in India during 2010, Human Rights Watch stated India had "significant human rights problems".[3] They identified lack of accountability for security forces and impunity for abusive policing including "police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and torture" as major problems. An independent United Nations expert in 2011 expressed concern that she found human rights workers and their families who "have been killed, tortured, ill-treated, disappeared, threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, falsely charged and under surveillance because of their legitimate work in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.[4]

Chronology of events regarding human rights in India

  • 1973 – Supreme Court of India rules in Kesavananda Bharati case that the basic structure of the Constitution (including many fundamental rights) is unalterable by a constitutional amendment.
  • 1975–77 – State of Emergency in India – extensive rights violations take place.
  • 1978 – SC rules in Menaka Gandhi v. Union of India that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution cannot be suspended even in an emergency.
  • 1978-Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 [6][7]

 

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