10 June 2024


High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

State of J & K Vs. J & K State Human Rights Commission and Ors.




Commission is not empowered to enquire into any complaint not falling within its jurisdiction

The Petitioner prayed for issuance of writ of mandamus declaring the impugned order passed by Respondent No. 's 1 and 2 as null and void, as the same has been passed without inherent jurisdiction and is thus, liable to be set aside. Further, prayer is for writ of prohibition restraining Respondent No. 's 1 & 2 to give effect to impugned judgment dated 22nd February, 2018.

The pivotal issue that requires consideration of present court in the instant petition is as to whether the Commission lacked jurisdiction to entertain the complaint of the Respondent No. 3, take cognizance thereon and pass the impugned order.

The Commission on the basis of aforesaid reports, in the impugned order held that, the land in question is under occupation of BSF 103 Battalion since 1992 and that the Respondents have not denied the claim of the complainant but have failed to make good the rent payable to the complainant w.e.f. 1990. Consequently, while holding the complainant entitled to the arrears of rent since 1990 with immediate effect directed payment thereof to the complainant w.e.f. 1990.

Provisions forbid the Commission from inquiring into any complaint not falling within its jurisdiction. Whereas Regulation 14 of the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Right Commission (Procedure) Regulations 2011, mandates the Commission to dismiss the complaints enumerated therein including the one involving civil dispute such as contractual obligations, matrimonial matters, property rights and other types of cases, which are covered by civil/criminal law.

The Commission in the instant case evidently had without any jurisdiction entertained the complaint of the Respondent No. 3 herein relating to the recovery of arrears of rent, ex-facie, not a human right but a dispute covered by Civil law and in the process pass impugned order in breach and violation of aforesaid provisions of the Act and Regulation.

A Division bench of present Court in case titled as "State of Jammu and Kashmir &Ors Vs. J&K State Human Rights Commission & Ors" being, has earlier observed that, the Commission is a statutory body, which is a creation of statute and has to work within the four corners of law and exercise its jurisdiction within the limits prescribed under the Act and the Regulations framed there under. The observation came to be made after it was noticed that, the Commission has taken cognizance of a complaint relating to a service dispute. The Commission specifically under the Regulations was required to dismiss it in limini being a complaint involving pure and simple service matters.

The Commission is seen to have been entertaining complaints, taking cognizance and adjudicating the same qua the issues other than those covered under the Act despite lacking jurisdiction and competence. The Commission thus, in the process admittedly encroaches upon the power and jurisdiction of other statutory, quasi-judicial and judicial authorities. The said act of the Commission is likely to create an anarchy, which by no sense of imagination can said to be tenable in law. Petition allowed.

Tags : Complaint Jurisdiction Legality

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