The NHRC has issued notices to the Centre, states and the Union territories over reported deaths of inmates due to "torture" at private drug de-addiction centres, the rights panel said on Tuesday.
It has sought reports within four weeks on de-addiction centres presently available with the government sectors and if there are any rules or regulations framed under the NDPS Act to regulate the centres, besides other information.
Reportedly, a 24-year-old man was beaten to death by the people running a de-addiction centre in Chandramani area of Dehradun, Uttarakhand on April 10, the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement.
Prior to this, the Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of two similar incidents at de-addiction centres in Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, and the reports have been sought, it said.
The NHRC has "taken suo motu cognisance of a media report of yet another death of an inmate at a private drug de-addiction centre - which is the third such incident in the recent past," it said.
The Commission has observed that all three rehabilitation centres, two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Uttarakhand, were being run by private entities.
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"It needs serious consideration as to whether the de-addiction centres can be allowed to be operated by private entities, and if it is so, whether states have ensured sufficient safety measures in place to protect the interest of the inmates with a view to achieving the desired goal," the statement said.
"Accordingly, it has issued notices, returnable in four weeks, to the chief secretaries of all states/Union territories (UTs), and the secretary of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment,' it said.
The notices have been issued over the reported deaths of inmates due to torture at private drug de-addiction centres, it said.
The reports have been sought on - how many de-addiction centres are presently available with the government sector; can private entities be allowed to set up de-addiction centres; are there any rules or regulations framed under the NDPS Act to regulate the de-addiction centres as mandated in Section 71 of NDPS Act; and what is the mechanism for providing training to persons employed in such de-addiction centres, it said.
The reports should also specify the mechanisms to regulate private de-addiction centres including charges/fees, employment of staff, counsellor, medical staff, food supplied and overall upkeep of such rehabilitation centres, the rights panel said.
Notices have also been issued to the chief secretary and the director general of Police, Uttarakhand, seeking a detailed report in the case of the death of an inmate at the Dehradun rehabilitation centre.
The reports should include the present status of the investigation of the case and compensation and relief, if any, provided to the next of kin of the deceased, it said.
According to the media report, carried on April 13, the patients of the Dehradun de-addiction centre, have said that the "beatings were frequent and routine, as were hunger and lack of hygiene. No doctor or counsellor ever visited the centre".
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