Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MHRC member piqued by govt neglect


IMPHAL, Jan 16: Member of Manipur Human Rights Commission, Col. RK Rajendra (retd) has expressed discontentment over the conduct of the state government which has totally ignored the existence of the commission.

In a press meet held this morning at his residence at Yaiskul Chingakham Leirak, member Rajendra stated that the state government is not fulfilling the demands which the members of the commission have been urging for the last many years.

The demands of the commission include implementation of  proper pay roll for the members, declaration of the status of the members and recruitment of staff and other personnel of the commission, he said.

In other states of India, the basic pay scale of the members of state human rights commission is Rs 90,000 which is same as the pay scale of a high court judge.

The chairperson and members also receive Rs 30,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively as house rent allowance in addition to the pay of Rs 90,000 he added.

But in Manipur, the members are given only Rs 16000 as honarium with deduction of the amount of basic pension pay for those members who also draw pension either from the state or Central government, he noted.

In his case, he draws a basic pension pay of about Rs 8000 as a retired Lt. Colonel of the Indian Army before the implementation of the 6th Pay and so his honarium was Rs. 8761 after deducting the said amount of pension pay.

But at present, his basic pension pay reached Rs 25,700 with the implementation of 6th pay exceeding the honarium, but the state finance department has not sanctioned his honarium for more than seven months from July onwards thereby creating problems and confusion in this matter.

He strongly maintained that the government should not deduct the amount of his pension pay from the honarium as other members do receive the exact amount of Rs 16,000 as honarium and added that the deduction made in this honarium is a violation of “equal pay for equal work”.

He drew the attention of the government to sanction his honarium as soon as possible and an application has already been submitted to the secreary (finance) in this regard.

Col. Rajendra also stated that the state government has not yet announced the status for the members who should be in the 17th position next to state Cabinet ministers as per the warrant of precedence of the Government of India.

The members consider the non-declaration of their status by the government as an insult to them and they would even boycott the upcoming Republic Day if their status is not declared latest by January 26.

The commission also demanded certain manpower at a strength of about 130-140 comprising of law division, administrative division, training division, finance section, research division along with medical and environment wings, he asserted.

But in Manipur, the commission has only about 12 employees which are mostly hired from other departments. The commission should also have a secreatary who is serving currently as the secretary to the state government along with an investigative officer who should not be below the rank of IGP, he added.

He further stated that the commission has set up some additional rules and regulations for effective functioning of the commission and the recent spot inquiry of July 23 Khwairamband incident was conducted by himself according to the rules and regulations, which  is otherwise to be conducted by the investigating officer of the commission.

He also appealed evreryone to render help and support to the commission in its working to safeguard human rights in the state.

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