Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005
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By Our Staff Reporter
BANGALORE, FEB. 7. Good governance is not possible unless fundamental rights are safeguarded, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), A.S. Anand, said today.
At the inaugural session of a two-day `Capacity Building Workshop on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights' at the Karnataka Judicial Academy (KJA) here, Dr. Anand, who is a former Chief Justice of India, stressed that the quality of governance by the Centre and the States can only be measured "by the social, economic, cultural and political rights citizens enjoy."
At the same time, one cannot overlook the duties, obligations and responsibilities such rights confer on citizens. "We must ensure that the mentally and physically disabled and the poverty-stricken also do not suffer," he said.
The Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, N.K. Sodhi, praised Dr. Anand for having defended citizens' fundamental rights all through his career. "He gave us the landmark judgment in the G.K. Basu versus State of West Bengal (case), which, in turn, led to the origin of the Miranda warning in India."
The Miranda warning is something the U.S. Supreme Court established to protect U.S. citizens against "third-degree" methods then utilised in police stations there. The Supreme Court of India, Justice Sodhi said, "adopted the Miranda warning in toto in the G.K. Basu versus State of West Bengal case."
Justice Sodhi, also patron-in-chief of the academy, felt that the International Covenant on Social, Cultural and Economic Rights does not give enough attention to the duties that accompany rights. "Of the 30 Articles in the covenant, only Article 29 deals with duties, whereas rights and duties go together in our Constitution," he observed.
He hoped that the workshop would be a useful one and that the 35 participants would become agents of social engineering.
S. Ramanathan, Chairman of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Karnataka branch; J. Guha Roy from the IIPA, New Delhi; and A. Chakravarthi, Senior Director, NHRC, spoke. The KJA and the IIPA are co-organisers of the workshop. It ends on Tuesday.
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