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Pro-bono Lawyer echoes 16 Thousand Voices for the Voice-Less before the NHRC, the Apex Rights Panel

Lakhs of voiceless and remediless people in India might not have known him personally nor have heard from the media, about him, but he has made it possible to prove that NHRC is not a toothless Panel.  

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Barring the idea of a toothless tiger tagged to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Apex Human Rights Panel of India, a Human Rights Crusader and Supreme Court Lawyer , Mr Radhakanta Tripathy has crossed sixteen thousand marks in filing human rights cases in the National Human Rights Commission of India.

He works for the Jarawas of Andaman, Chastity Test in Rajasthan, Child marriages, Practice of Sorcery and Witch Craft in India, Large Scale Refugee Problems faced by Mizoram and Tripura Government , Farmer Suicides , Lack of basic amenities in various parts of India. The words of dictionary are not sufficient to elaborate this Personality. 

His fight for the displaced and destitutes has brought substantial impact in the Justice System, Governance and Bureaucracy in India. In the context of Odisha his cases pertaining to the displaced mass in several projects brought justice in several forms. Rehabilitation and resettlement of thousands of families and payment of due compensation to lakhs of people in Hirakud, Salandi-Nalia, Reba-Kapali, Kansbans-Gamei,Lower Suktel, Vedanta, Indravati, Deo, Kanpur etc, Projects are possible due to single handed tireless effort of Mr Tripathy. Repair, renovation and construction of hundreds of schools, Anganwadi centers, roads and bridges, health centers are the outcomes of the Petitions filed by him. 

He could bring law into action in cases of Deaths due to manhole, electrocution, man-animal conflict, Starvation or mal-nutrition etc. across India.

Fight for the Tribals

The Apex Panel for indigenous people (Tribals) popularly known as National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in India has been plagued by vacancies; therefore it is hard to believe that Government is serious to ensure justice to the Tribals.  

At this juncture it is worthy to mention an individual who has been fighting for the rights of Tribals across India. A Lawyer by profession and Activist by passion Radhakanta Tripathy, has brought before the (NCST) plight of the displaced tribals in hundreds of projects in entire Odisha. The NCST sought comprehensive report from Odisha Chief Secretary on this issue. 

Tripathy has drawn attention of the NCST to ensure justice to the Tribals who are in death row and convicted for life  and those languish behind the prisons as Under Trial Prisoners  across India. Acting on his petitions the NCST has issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and chief Administrators of the Union Territories. 

Taking up the causes for the Tribal Juveniles and the concession in railway fare and airfare for the poor Tribal students who can not afford it the NCST took up the cause and advised Tripathy to approach the concerned Ministries. On his concern over the lower representation of tribals in the legal profession and judiciary, the NCST also asked him to knock the doors of Ministry of Law and Justice and the Bar Council of India.

Acting on his petitions the NHRC had conducted Camp sitting in Andaman Nicober Islands for the first time and ensured justice to the tribas including the PVTGs like Jarawas living in the Union Territory.  Not only this the NHRC also took up dozens of his petition to ensure justice to the tribals living in Arunachal, Mizoram, Nagaland and other States.

His work to ensure justice to alive-record dead Lili Naik, a tribal lady from Mayurbhanj district and to the families of Tulasi Munda, another tribal pregnant lady who died due to lack of medical care and communication facilities from the same district has become talk of the town after recent Presidential election.

Tawang In Arunachal Pradesh

His intervention in the case of rape of a tribal lady on August 15 in SCB medical campus and rape of a tribal lady on road side in Malkangiri district set the law into motion.

The Landless Leprosy tribal patients in Bhadrak Dagamunda colony have been ensured land and houses with toilets allotted with School and Anganwadi center after decade struggle by Tripathy.

The plethora of problems in tribal dominated Kalahandi , Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Keonjhar, Nabarangpur, Nuapada etc tribal dominated districts have been addressed after the pro-bono legal intervention of Tripathy in the NHRC and other forums.

Not only these social evils like witch craft and sorcery, branding etc and lack of Basic Amenities in Tribal areas have also been addressed at a nails race by the Government after directions, recommendations of the Human Rights Panels.

Earlier but for his Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Supreme Court the vacancies in the NCST were filled up and the Annual Reports of the Commission were tabled before the Parliament for the first time. 

While disposing one Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court (W.P.(C)399/2010) a Bench comprising Justice Altmas kabir and Justice Jasti Chelameswaram quoted Radhakanta Tripathy as “a public spirited advocate”. 

On February 27, 2017 while disposing another Public Interest Litigation filed by Tripathy, the bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, observed “Please keep patience. You helped everybody by filing the PIL. We are grateful to you”.

Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud tests positive for Covid-19

While disposing one Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court.

The Government at Center and State levels should take up the causes of Tribals pro-actively, Tripathy appealed on the international day meant for the Tribals.

A Male – Women Right’s Activist  – a different Tale

Whether it is for the protection of SC, ST girls from motherhood in Government run schools in Odisha or to ensure justice to the family members of the first Lady Martyr of Odisha –Pari Bewa of Eram or a destitute Gourimani from the same place (Eram) there is a hope for justice in one person. This is not a woman, a lady but a male not that much famous who has been fighting for the rights of women from across the Country. A public spirited lawyer and noted social activist Mr Radhakanta Tripathy, a native from Bhadrak district of Odisha. He fights for the rights of females mostly before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the apex human rights panel of India.

As a Covid warrior during the pandemic Tripathy served largely to the under privileged in Bhadrak district. His litigation against the Chastity/virginity test in Maharashtra, Rajasthan or Gujarat brought impact to ensure Government action. Fifty six women sterilized by cycle pump in Angul district have been compensated on his petition.

Covid-19

Tripathy’s ongoing legal battle for the inmates in the Asia’s largest red light area, Soagachchi has been bringing tangible impact on the lives of the trafficking and flesh trade victims.

The accused have been brought to law and the poor tribal lady in koraput who was raped on roadside is quite hopeful to get compensation now.

The alive tribal woman who was declared murdered could get justice onhis petition after CB-CID investigated the case in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Recently the family members of the women activist who was allegedly rapes and murdered at farmer protest site Delhi are going to get justice through petition of Tripathy,

Tripathy who never charge anything for human rights issues has ensured law into action on Social ostrasization of females, branded witch women, Rape of rag pickers in Bihar, Rape of tribal on independence day in cuttack, Rights of Ramamani rights after death at Ramanathpuram in Tamilnadu, justice to Laxmipriya blind talented minor girl in puri brutally raped and murdered.

The cases filed by Tripathy in Stripping of seventy girls in Uttar Pradesh, Sexual assault of minor girls in Bhadrak and Balasore districts, Rape by priests and Maulvis , Fake godman in different states, Pregnant minor students in State run SC ST Schools, Death of girl in fake encounter in Punjab, Death of ASHA worker Mini in Kandhamal, Death of girl in hot Dal vessel in Koraput  put the paralysed and apathetic State machinery active.

After the developments in the PIL filed by Tripathy in Supreme Court, compulsory appointment of female members in the NHRC and State HRC has been enacted amending the provisions of law.

Supreme Court

Earlier his PIL in the Supreme Court ensured filling up the vacancies plagued by the National Commission for Women, the apex women right’s Panel. Now he has been fighting for the rights of minor girls and  Women forcibly introduced into prostitution at Sonagachchi of Kolakatta and at G.B.Road , the infamous place for Prostitution in Delhi. On his petition the NHRC also issued notice to HRD ministry for entry of female students in the Aligarh Muslim University Library. When Lincon Subuddhi was attacked in Noida, it’s the same person who got the matter investigated by the NHRC. For protecting the rights of Widows of Bandipora village in Kashmir this man draws attention of rights Panel. He is also instrumental in exposing the truth behind the gang rape of a minor student in CDPO office on a Sunday in Bhadrak district. However he is obsessed for the non-availability of adequate toilets for women in various parts of India. He may be a male, but he deserves applauds for his endeavour. Believe in peaceful co-existence is the mantra of this man. Even if he has been threatened many times by miscreants, he never looked back.

He would have become an international icon and achieved many awards, recognitions etc. had his work got due publicity. Tripathy pioneers, revolutionized the justice system. His works speak of hope, empowerment and justice. Known as one of the unsung and unnoticed heroes of the world in the area of Social Justice, the world owes Radhakanta for siring the very concept of the human rights on which everybody Old or Modern depends on.

Lakhs of voiceless and remediless people in India might not have known him personally nor have heard from the media, about him, but he has made it possible to prove that NHRC is not a toothless Panel.  

The innumerable contribution of Tripathy in the service of mankind shall remain a fountain of inspiration for the future generation.

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