November 2, 2019

Takingserious note of the inactionof the State Government inimplementation of Apex Court’s orders

Vijyender Sharma

SHIMLA------Taking serious note of the inaction of the State Government in implementation of Apex Court's orders, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh has directed the State of H.P. to file reply clarifying its stand qua establishment of Human Rights Commission/Lokayukta/Lokpal and also Human Rights Court in the State of H.P. The Court further directed that in the event of failure to file reply by the State Government within a week, appropriate orders in the matter will be passed on the next date of hearing.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, passed these orders on a petition filed by one Namita Maniktala. It has been alleged in the petition that the protection of Human Rights Act 1993 mandates the creation of State Human Rights Commission, but the State of H.P. has failed to implement the mandate of the Act and no appointments have been made to the Commission since 15.07.2005 and no Human Rights Courts have been established. The petitioner has further alleged that the Hon'ble Apex Court in D.K. Basu's case has directed the respondent State to make functional the State Human Rights Commission within a period of six months from the date of the judgment passed in the year 2015, however, 3 years have passed but still the judgment has not been implemented and the Commission has not been made functional. She has alleged that the act of the State is not only illegal but also contemptuous and has prayed to direct the State to constitute the State Human Rights Commission and make it functional by making appointment of the Chairpersons and Members in accordance with the Section 21 of Protection of Human Rights Act. She has further prayed to direct the State to initiate appropriate action under Section 30 of Protection of Human Rights Act for constitution of Human Rights Courts within the State and to fill up the future vacancies in State Human Rights Commission not later than 3 months from the date such vacancy occurs.

During the course of hearing, the Court observed that the State Government has failed to show cause/file reply, irrespective of Court's earlier order dated 29.04.2019, vide which the State Government was directed to show cause within six weeks as to why the Human Rights Commission/ Lokayukta/Lokpal has not been constituted by the State of H.P. Moreover, four week's more time was granted to the State of Government on 09.07.2019, for filing reply.

The Court contended that such an approach of the State Government, in a matter of this nature, is not appreciated, that too when the Apex Court has held that it is mandatory for every State to constitute "State Human Rights Commission" as well as "Human Rights Court" and has also directed all the States, including the State of H.P., to set up "State Human Rights Commission" within a period of six months and also to take steps for setting up of "Human Rights Courts".

The Court posted the matter for 07.11.2019.

No comments: