New Delhi

The main Delhi unit of the Human Rights Law Network is situated in the city’s boisterous Bhogal area. This serves as HRLN’s headquarters and the organisation’s main interface with all levels of stakeholders. Its administrative and accounts offices coordinate with donors, supporters and all the state units.

The centre has a sizable litigation team that, apart from handling litigation at lower and higher courts, takes up cases from across the country at the Supreme Court level. In this process, social activists work closely with the lawyers. HRLN is committed to documenting case law and making it available in local languages through its publications, films and ‘know your rights’ material, and the Delhi office coordinates these activities by gathering information from across the country.

The Delhi unit started with only three people. It underwent its first expansion in 2001, swelling up to a strength of 20 while working with the UNHCR on refugee rights. The team currently has more than 70 people in its two centres: the one in Bhogal and another working exclusively on refugee rights in Vikas Puri. The Delhi office, in addition to lawyers, also seats several initiatives: accounting, administration, technical, publications, design, website and resource centre and the library teams.

Main Concerns


1.    Women’s social justice: The unit works against all forms of gender-based violence, sexual harassment, women’s property and inheritance rights, witch hunting, acid attacks, and child marriage, among other things.

2.    Reproductive Rights and law: We work to combat violations of reproductive rights and provide legal services to help individuals protect their rights. The unit also does advocacy to improve policies and the implementation of programs.

3.    Refugee rights: We assist refugees in securing civil and political rights by helping them acquire Indian citizenship. This work also undertakes crisis-response missions, investigation, monitoring, and fact-finding visits.

4.    Housing rights: We work to ensure everyone’s right to adequate housing by taking up cases related to forced evictions, unfair housing situation of the urban poor, and violations of pro-poor housing provisions.

5.    Prison rights: We work to get safeguard rights and procure the release of prisoners, especially indigent prisoners. To this end, we file bail applications, file for surety bonds and provide for monetary assistance for indigent prisoners.

6.    Labour rights: We investigate safety and welfare measures for workers. We have filed several cases in Supreme Court and High Court representing workers on the basis of discrimination, illegal closures, illegal termination, starvation death cases, minimum wages, no-pay and others. Our team also works at the grassroots level.

8.    Environment justice: We work to providing legal aid and public interest litigation, workshops, campaigns and publications to vulnerable sections of society affected by environmental degradation. Among other things, our lawyers have argued cases in the Supreme Court on silicosis, banning of asbestos, pesticides in the environment and food and the protection of forest.

9.    Criminal justice: We work to review prison conditions and capital punishment laws, and also to represent indigent undertrials.

HRLN Impact


The Delhi unit works intensively on cases of reproductive rights and acid attacks, fighting to ensure compensation and employment for victims of violence as well as ensuring their mental health. In addition to these, the unit handles cases exclusive to the Supreme Court, including but not limited to those on the death penalty, criminal justice, violence against women, forest rights, right to education, right to food, housing, bail applications, media laws, disability rights, and bonded labour.

The unit’s work in the Supreme Court has introduced several landmark judgements – such as the issuance of binding guidelines after forced sterilisations of poor women across the country, the return of lands of farmers in Singur in the Tata land acquisition case, and ensuring assistance, security and compensation for victims of the 2007 racial attacks on Christians in Odisha’s Kandhamal, among many others.

The Delhi unit’s impact spreads far beyond the capital, thanks, in part to the impact of its activities and litigation which have influenced the growing canon of human rights law both in India and overseas.

Delhi HC grants interim protection against coercive action to Alt-News Co-founder in frivolous FIR registered

Mohammed Zubair vs. State of GNCT & Ors. W.P.(CRL) 1429/2020 & Crl.M.A.No.12441/2020
Pending

Draft of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020

As soon as the pandemic hit all the sources of income for transgender persons dried up, as all high contact jobs such as ...read more

Farewell Justice Suresh

Justice Suresh died last night in his sleep. The lockdown prevents us from being with him at the funeral. I have known h ...read more

Police Atrocities against Tibetan Protestors

On the visit of Chinese President Xi Ji Ping on 11th -12th October 2019 to India,  Tibetan activists approached HRL ...read more

Report on the webinar on Use of the Law for Prisoners

Human Rights Law Network conducted a zoom webinar on the use of law for prisoners on 17.05.2020 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm ...read more

Report on the webinar on Covid 19 and the Use of Law

Prior to the announcement of the National Lockdown on 25 March 2020, a number of courts had shut down in response to the ...read more

Dalit youth flogged to death in Gujarat

Jayaben v Tejas Kanubhai Zala
Notice issued

Journalists laid off during Covid-19 Lockdown

National Alliance Of Journalists & Ors. vs Union Of India & Ors

Relief Work - Delhi Unit

As soon as the lockdown was announced on the 25th of March 2020, there were news reports flowing in of lack of access to ...read more

Delhi HC grants relief to 1200 HPCL workers; orders payment of Rs. 42 crores within one week

Cachar Paper Project Workers Union (Intuc) vs. Union Of India And Anr.
Respondents to reply with compliance on 21.5.2020

Contagion of Covid 19 Virus in Prisons

Contagion of Covid 19 Virus in Prisons

Humanitarian Hinderance

Swami Agnivesh & Anr Vs Union of India & Ors

Release of persons in Detention Centres

Raju Bala Das vs Union of India and Anr
Disposed off

Petition for Reservation of seats in Public Transport for Transgender Persons

Sowmya Gupta vs Department of Delhi Trasport Cooperation and Anr.
Disposed

National Level Consultation on Rights of Transgender Persons

As of April 2020 it would’ve been six years since the NALSA judgement was passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court under ...read more

Challenge to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Rachana Mudraboyina and Ors vs Union of India and Ors
Pending

Report on Forest Rights Act - Minority Rights Group International

This report is made by Minority Rights Group International (“MRG”) in relation to W.P. (C) No. 109/2008 titled Wildl ...read more

Redressing ‘Historical Injustice’ through the Indian Forest Rights Act 2006

The issue of forest rights in India is a major concern by any measure.  It affects forested landscapes that cover o ...read more

Plan of Action: For Working Children in Delhi

To address the situation arising from the recent notification declaring ban on employment of children in domestic work e ...read more

Another minor rescued as bonded labour from Shalimar Bagh, second in two months

As part of the continuous national campaign to eradicate the bonded labour and to rescue bonded labours across India, a ...read more

Locked in room by her employers: Minor girl working as bonded labour rescued, FIR registered

For a 17-year-old girl, who was locked in a room as a bonded labour, freedom came knocking on the doors of her employers ...read more

Forced to marry her maternal uncle: SC directs J&K Police to ensure girl’s safety

The Supreme Court on 12th October issued an order to Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police in a Habeas Corpus ...read more

Manual scavenging case: Delhi high court reprimands state govt for failing to provide relief to rescued bonded labourer

Nirmal Gorana & Anr vs State NCT of Delhi & Ors Writ petition (Crl) 3177/2017 In 2007, HRLN’s initiave aga ...read more

Trafficked bonded labourers rescued from Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh

A women and minor girl, who were working as bonded labourers in a house in New Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, were rescued in ...read more

Delhi HC offers interim relief to dyslexic student who was denied opportunity to apply for bank position

W.P.(C) 5030/2018 & CM No. 19388/2018 ROHAN GUPTA Vs STATE BANK OF INDIA & Ors Rohan Gupta is a dyslexic d ...read more

Lack of action on child bonded labour: Delhi HC issues notice to state, asks for status reports on child labour schemes

Nirmal Gorana v Government of NCT of Delhi & Ors WP (Crl) 1011/2018 This petition made the grievance that despit ...read more

Fatima Nafees files defamation suit against Times of India, Times Now, Dilli Aaj Tak for spreading defamatory fake news against son, Najeeb Ahmed

Fatima Nafees, the mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, last week filed a suit in the Delhi high court through Hu ...read more

Delhi HC issues notice in case of school discriminating against child with ADHD

The Delhi High Court on February 6, 2018, issued notices to respondent parties in a case of discrimination against and t ...read more

Delhi HC strikes down ESIC’s fraudulent move to create, sell medical institutions

Balaraj Jadhav and Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors W.P.(C) No. 11837 of 2015
Disposed off

SC to examine fundamental rights violations resulting from India’s outdated MTP Act

On 21 April 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the Union of India and the State of Maharashtra to respond to fundamental ri ...read more

Shri Irsayam & Others Vs Union of India & Others

This case upholds the right of 7 Indonesian sailors to be repatriated to their country of origin where no grounds exist ...read more