Petition to Remove and Prosecute Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India
To July 5, 2022
The Complaint Procedure Unit
Human Rights Council Branch
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
[ Email: CP@ohchr.org ]
Copy for Urgent Action:
Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Mr. Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State
Mr. Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EU
Mr. Karim A. A. Khan, Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC)
President and Chief Justice of India [ For information only, as the offices of the President and the Chief Justice are so weak and fragile that they cannot take action in this case. ]
Petition by: Rakesh Raman
Jurisdiction of Human Rights Council: The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.
On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 5/1 entitled “Institution-Building of the United Nations Human Rights Council” by which a new complaint procedure was established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.
The complaint procedure addresses communications submitted by individuals, groups, or non-governmental organizations that claim to be victims of human rights violations or that have direct, reliable knowledge of such violations.
Since the Indian political system is extremely corrupt and the justice delivery system has completely collapsed, this petition is being filed before the UN Human Rights Council with the appeal to set up an exclusive international criminal court to hold the “show trial” of Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India and his accomplices for their complicity in ruthless human rights violations in India.
This petition is being filed before the international judicial forums because the Indian judicial system – which has completely collapsed – cannot convict Arun Kumar Mishra. Therefore, an international court must be set up to prosecute and punish Mishra and his accomplices at NHRC and other law-enforcement agencies such as police.
The proposed court should work on the lines of the International Military Tribunal which was constituted at Nuremberg to prosecute Nazi war criminals for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Dear UN Human Rights Council Officers and Global Leaders,
As the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, has completely failed in his responsibility to protect human rights in India, he must immediately be removed from his position.
Under his tenure, the human rights situation in India has been going from bad to worse and the country is being censured in all parts of the world. Now, it appears that instead of protecting the human rights of Indians, Mishra is complicit in violations mainly because of his incompetence and proximity to the ruling regime which is committing human rights violations and crimes against humanity.
Today, people in all parts of India are suffering because their rights are being blatantly violated by the rulers. Mishra and his accomplices at NHRC and other law-enforcement agencies such as police are deliberately allowing the violations and mostly complicit in crimes being committed by the criminals who enjoy full impunity provided by the state.
The court judges at the Supreme Court of India and other courts do not take action against the criminals supported by the regime because most judges are either greedy who expect rewards from the authoritarian government or scared of the government politicians, most of whom have dreadful criminal records. The incompetence of Indian judges is also among the reasons that they work as slaves to the government and fail to protect the rights of citizens.
Therefore, it becomes essential for the international human rights agencies and judicial framework to remove, prosecute, and punish Mishra and his accomplices so that the rights of nearly 1.4 billion Indians could be protected.
Some international reports on human rights violations in India are being cited below.
U.S. Resolution on Human Rights Violations. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced a resolution on June 22, 2022 to condemn human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those targeting Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. The resolution calls on the U.S. Secretary of State to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act, which has been recommended by the independent, bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for the past three years.
Attacks on Press Freedom. With extreme attacks on journalists and media freedom, India has plummeted to 150th position in 2022 on the RSF World Press Freedom Index from its 2021 rank of 142 in 180 countries. The Index is published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Paris-based international organization that defends freedom of journalists in all parts of the world.
Human Rights Violations: Human Rights Watch said in its latest World Report 2022 that Indian authorities have intensified their crackdown on activists, journalists, and other critics of the government using politically motivated prosecutions. The report has revealed extreme human rights violations in India.
Similarly, Amnesty International Report 2021/22: The State of the World’s Human Rights which was released in March 2022 has cited a number of individual cases which reveal that human rights violations are rampant in India while the government is complicit in most crimes.
Discriminatory Policies: The annual Freedom in the World 2022 report released in February by Freedom House has labelled India as a “Partly Free” country while its Global Freedom Score has plummeted to 66 from 67 last year. Also, India’s Internet Freedom Score is just 49 which shows that there are frequent restrictions on the use of the Internet in the country.
As there are extreme human rights violations in the Kashmir region – which is under the occupation of Indian security forces – the Freedom House report states that Kashmir – with a Global Freedom Score of just 27 – is “Not Free”.
Electoral Autocracy: The Democracy Report 2022 released in March by the V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, finds that electoral autocracies are home to the largest share of the world population following India’s downgrade to electoral autocracy in 2020.
Crime and Impunity: The U.S. Department of State in its annual country reports on corruption and human rights practices released in April 2022 has reported extreme corruption and human rights violations in India. The U.S. report reveals that a lack of accountability for official misconduct persisted at all levels of government in India, contributing to widespread impunity.
Attacks on Religious Freedom: The International Religious Freedom Report released in June 2022 by the U.S. Department of State has raised serious concerns over increasing attacks on Muslims and other minority communities in India. The report states that attacks on members of religious minority communities, including killings, assaults, and intimidation, occurred throughout the year. These included incidents of “cow vigilantism” against non-Hindus based on allegations of cow slaughter or trade in beef.
Repressed Nation: India is currently rated Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor. The new watchlist was released in March 2022 by the CIVICUS Monitor, an online platform that tracks the latest developments to civic freedoms, including the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, across 197 countries and territories.
Genocide Alert: The global Genocide Watch has put India under “Genocide alert” with Muslims and landowners among the affected groups. It says Hindu extremists and naxalite maoists are harassing these groups. Genocide Watch aims to predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder. Its purpose is to build an international movement to prevent and stop genocide.
The links to some other cases that depict extreme human rights violations in India are given below.
Four organisations join Noam Chomsky, Rajmohan Gandhi in demanding Umar Khalid’s release from jail. The New Indian Express, July 4, 2022. [ Link ]
Ominous Signal: Journalists Say Cases, Raids Will Have Chilling Effect on Media. The Wire, July 4, 2022. [ Link ]
Something Amiss In Zubair Case; Worrying That Many Judges Are Scared To Grant Bail : Justice Deepak Gupta. Live Law, July 4, 2022. [ Link ]
Over 100 concerned citizens demand immediate release of Mohammed Zubair. The Hindu, July 3, 2022. [ Link ]
Ex-justice’s appeal to apex court: Clarify on Teesta Setalvad. Telegraph India, June 29, 2022. [ Link ]
Joint statement on the deteriorating health of G. N. Saibaba in Nagpur Central Jail. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, June 21, 2022. [ Link ]
India: Biased Investigations 2 Years After Delhi Riot. Human Rights Watch, February 21, 2022. [ Link ]
“Grave Threat”: 76 Top Lawyers Write To Chief Justice On Genocide Call. NDTV, December 26, 2021. [ Link ]
There are many other cases of human rights violations, police brutality, online harassment of journalists, attacks on press freedom, lawless prosecution of civil society actors, internet shutdowns, killings, and torture of innocent people. The courts are complicit in state crimes while the police and security forces operate as gangs of criminals. But NHRC under Arun Kumar Mishra turns a blind eye to the violations taking place in India.
SELECTION AND PERFORMANCE OF MISHRA
A former Supreme Court judge, Justice Mishra, was handpicked in 2021 by the Indian government of prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi for the post of NHRC chief because of his sycophancy for Modi. While Mishra does not have any record in the human rights sphere, he was selected despite strong opposition to his selection. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge – who was a member of the selection committee – dissociated himself from the process of NHRC chairperson’s selection.
“In my letter to PM Modi, I raised concerns regarding the manner in which the NHRC appointments were made,” Kharge wrote in his tweet on June 2. 2021. He added that Mishra’s appointment smacks of partisanship and quid pro quo. “I strongly condemn this,” Kharge stated. [ See Exhibit 1 given below. ]
Mishra had retired from the Supreme Court in September 2020 and during his tenure he pronounced many dubious judgements to please Modi and brazenly admired him presumably to grab a lucrative position after retirement. [ You can click here to read How Justice Arun Mishra Rose to Become the Most Influential Judge in the Supreme Court ]
Speaking at the International Judicial Conference in 2020, Justice Mishra had described Modi as an “internationally acclaimed visionary”, and praised his “versatile genius to think globally and act locally.”
Mishra’s remarks were so shameful that the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had to issue a resolution to denounce his admiration for Modi while the judges are supposed to maintain a safe distance from politicians. In its statement, the SCBA said it has taken note with deep sense of anguish and concern the statement made by Mishra to praise Modi. [ See Exhibit 2 given below. ]
The SCBA, according to the statement, also expressed that such proximity and familiarity may impact the decision making process by the judges and may give rise to justifiable doubts in the minds of the litigants about the outcome.
Later, a former India minister and rebel Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha ridiculed Mishra’s obsequious behaviour toward Modi. Yashwant Sinha suggested in a sarcastic tenor that after Mishra’s retirement, Modi should reward him for the judgements that he had given to favour Modi and his government. [ You can click here to read The Shadow of Haren Pandya’s Case Lies Long Over Justice Arun Mishra ]
“Justice Mishra of the SC (Supreme Court) is now retiring. Should his great talent and experience be wasted? Should not the ‘versatile genius’ who ‘thinks globally and acts locally’ think about utilizing his services? And it should be more than a mere RS (Rajya Sabha) seat,” Sinha said in his tweet.
Sinha was referring to the former chief justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi’s appointment to the Rajya Sabha (RS), the Upper House of the bicameral Parliament of India. Gogoi – who was equally pliant as Mishra – was rewarded by Modi with the RS seat for Gogoi’s biased judgments in favour of the government. As Sinha had conjectured, Modi rewarded Mishra with the top position in the NHRC for the favours he had extended to the Modi government while working as the judge of the top court.
Although NHRC is supposed to protect the rights of people, this bureaucratic outfit turns a blind eye to the human rights violations because it cannot displease the Modi government. In some cases, the NHRC only sends some casual notices to the violators of human rights but does not take any punitive action against the culprits.
APPEAL FOR ACTION
With the appointment of a yes-man like Mishra at NHRC, the human rights situation in the country is deteriorating rapidly. Therefore, Mishra must be immediately removed from his position, and Mishra along with his accomplices at NHRC and other law-enforcement agencies such as police must be prosecuted at a specially constituted international court.
This proposed criminal court will work on the lines of the International Military Tribunal which was constituted at Nuremberg to prosecute Nazi war criminals for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Mishra must be prosecuted for his complicity in crimes against peace and crimes against humanity in India.
Subsequently, this international court should also prosecute and punish other Indian politicians, court judges, bureaucrats, government functionaries of law-enforcement agencies, police and security officers who have formed a criminal caucus in India to persecute people and deprive them of their fundamental rights. I am in the process of compiling a list of such state offenders who must be prosecuted at the international court.
Disclosure: As a journalist and social activist, I have been receiving multiple threats from the criminals who want to suppress my voice. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India had directed the Delhi Police to take action so that I could be protected. The NHRC issued its latest notice on June 11, 2021 with the direction to the Commissioner of Delhi Police to investigate the matter and file its report.
After receiving a perfunctory and false report from the corrupt police officials, the NHRC closed the case and never took action against the police or the culprits. I have again approached NHRC and other authorities with the request to take action in order to protect me and my rights.
Note: Since this is a digital document, please click the blue hyperlinks to download and study additional documents to understand various aspects of the case.
Availability: I will be available for online / virtual meetings to explain various aspects of the case to law-enforcement agencies and human rights groups in India and abroad.
ABOUT THE PETITIONER: RAKESH RAMAN
Rakesh Raman is a national award-winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation, which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
Nowadays, for the past 12 years, he has been running his own global news services on multiple news sites. He runs various environment protection, education awareness, and anti-corruption campaigns, and publishes digital magazines and research reports on different subjects.
Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
Recently, he has launched a comprehensive research project to compile an exclusive research report on corruption in India. Its working title is “India Corruption Research Report 2022 (ICRR 2022)”. He has also launched a nationwide campaign to introduce social democracy in India in order to build an egalitarian society in which all citizens could enjoy equal rights, opportunities, freedoms, and access to justice.
Rakesh has launched a public campaign which aims to get the directionless school education system in India revamped so that students can acquire contemporary skills that can help them progress in the modern information-driven world. He has launched a new editorial section / microsite “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” to cover the election news, events, and campaigns.
In his anti-corruption activities, he participated in a global petition led by Germany-based international organization Transparency International to call for the UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption, UNGASS 2021, to direct all countries to set up central, public registers of beneficial ownership.
Rakesh has also participated in the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project for 2022 as a Country Expert for India to provide expert research inputs on multiple topics pertaining to democracy and governance. The V-Dem Project is managed by V-Dem Institute under the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
In April 2022, he filed to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) a comprehensive corruption complaint against Indian bureaucrats to be prosecuted under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument.
In May 2022, he filed a petition at the Delhi Lokayukta and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India, to start investigation into the alleged crime and corruption cases of the ministers of Delhi Government and legislators (MLAs) of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headed by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
In May 2022, he also filed an updated complaint to the President of India, Chief Justice of India, and other international authorities against the Lokpal of India officials for making misleading statements and their complicity in corruption crimes to protect the corrupt government functionaries.
Rakesh is currently reporting on a citywide construction-cum-corruption racket – termed as Widehouse Corruption Scandal – which is being run in Delhi by local criminals in connivance with crooked politicians, corrupt bureaucrats, complicit police officials, dishonest members of judiciary, and builders’ mafia.
He runs a community-driven anti-corruption social service “Clean House” to help the residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in housing societies where millions of people suffer because of rampant corruption and lawlessness. He has also formed an environment protection group called Green Group in New Delhi, which is the most polluted national capital in the world.
As Rakesh has been facing constant threats including death threats for his editorial and anti-corruption work, the Paris-based international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that defends freedom of journalists has urged the Indian government to save him from threats and persecution. You can click here to download and read his full profile.
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