HC to Himachal Govt: Clear stance on lokayukta, human rights panel
Taking a serious note of the failure to appoint a lokayukta and the formation of the human rights commission and courts, the High Court here on Friday asked the state government to clarify its stance on the issue. The HC further said it would pass appropriate orders during the November 7 hearing if the government failed to file a reply within a week.
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 was stated in the petition that the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, mandated the creation of the commission but the state failed to implement the Act as no appointment had been made to the panel since July 15, 2005.
The petitioner further stated that the Supreme Court in the DK Basu case had directed Himachal Pradesh to make the rights commission functional within a period of six months from the date of the judgment in 2015. However, three years on, the judgment had not been implemented, the petition said.
The petitioner alleged that the act of the state was not only illegal but also contemptuous and prayed that the government be directed to constitute the commission and make it functional by making appointments posts of the chairperson and member in accordance with Section 21 of the Protection of Human Rights Act. The petitioner further prayed that the state be directed to initiate appropriate action under Section 30 of the Act for the constitution of human rights courts.
During the course of the hearing, the court observed that the state government had failed to file a reply despite it earlier order on April 29, directing it to show cause within six weeks as to why the commission and the office of the lokayukta were not constituted in Himachal Pradesh. The court had directed the state file a reply in this regard within four weeks till July 9.
The court contended that such an approach of the state government could not be appreciated, that too when the apex court had held that it was mandatory for every state to constitute the human rights commission and courts.
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