Ministry of Home Affairs should take steps to curb racial discrimination against people from north-eastern states

Supreme Court: In a PIL seeking guidelines to be set down to curb acts of discrimination against persons from the north-eastern states, the 3-judge bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswararao, JJ said that in order to enhance a sense of security and inclusion, the Union Government in the Ministry of Home Affairs should take proactive steps to monitor the redressal of issues pertaining to racial discrimination faced by citizens of the nation drawn from the north-east.

The Court said that a regular exercise of monitoring and redressal should be carried out by a Committee consisting of a Joint Secretary (North-east), Ministry of Home Affairs and 2 other members to be nominated by the Union Government (one of whom should be a public figure). It was further said that the work of the Committee should be widely publicised in the electronic and print media, including in the north eastern states. The Committee should be accessible to grievances, suggestions and complaints. The Committee should meet periodically and preferably at monthly intervals to monitor the redressal of all such grievances including the implementation of the recommendations of the Bezbaruah Committee, to the extent to which they have been accepted by the Union Government.

The Committee shall carry out the following functions:

  • to monitor, oversee, pursue and review the implementation of the MP Bezbaruah Committee Report
  • to monitor the initiatives taken by the Government to curb and deal with the incidents of racial discrimination/racial atrocities/racial violence;
  • to monitor action in respect of incidents of racial discrimination/racial atrocities/racial violence, suggest measures and ensure strict action;
  • to receive, consider and entertain complaints from individuals and groups of individuals who claim to be victims of racial abuse/racial atrocities/racial violence/racial discrimination and forward the same to the National Human Rights Commission and/or the State Human Rights Commissions and/or to the jurisdictional Police Station as the case may be for enquiry and necessary action;
  • to issue necessary directions including calling for reports on incidents of racial discrimination/racial atrocities/racial violence from the State Governments/Union Territories.

Various instances of murder, molestation racial discrimination and other offences against the people of North-eastern states have been reported. [Karma Dorjee v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1469, decided on 14.12.2016]


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