Govt challenges SHRC jurisdiction on compensation HC stays order


The High Court has stayed State Human Rights Commission order directing the government to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of a man who had disappeared from Psychiatric Hospital Srinagar ten days after he was admitted in 2007.     
In its plea before High Court, the state government has challenged the order of the SHRC to pay compensation to victim’s father Ghulam Nabi Wani of Nowgam Shangus on the ground that the Commission cannot not issue directions to the government. 
“Under Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997, the State Human Rights Has no power to issue directions. The Commission has to make recommendations under the ACT,” Shah Aamir, Additional Advocate General pleaded on behalf of the government.
Advocate Aamir pleaded that the Right’s body order was liable to be quashed as it was out of keeping with the provisions of the protection of Human Rights Act.
In terms of the said Act, Shah pleaded, it is crystal clear that while inquiring into any compliant of the Human Rights Violation, the Commission is to exercise its power of a civil court to the limited extent of securing the presence of witnesses and their examination.  
“The SHRC is to make only a recommendation to the government or authority to make payment of compensation or damages to the complainant or to the victim or member of his family as the Commission may consider necessary in the event the inquiry discloses violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by the public servant,” he said.  
While a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe issued notice to victim’s Wani returnable by November 26, the court held that keeping in view the nature of the case the government shall pay a sum of Rs 25000 to Wani as litigation charges. 
The Court however ordered that subject to placing of the proof of payment of this amount with Wani as the process fee within one week as directed by us, there shall be stay of the effect and operation of the order dated 5th June 2018.

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