Chennai: Holding that the State cannot avoid implementing SHRC orders, the full bench comprising Justices S Vaidyanathan, V Parthiban, and M Sundar said: “The recommendation of the Human Rights Commission under Section 18 is an adjudicatory order which is legally and immediately enforceable.
“If the concerned government or authority fails to implement the recommendation of the Commission within the time stipulated under Section 18(e) of the Act, the Commission can approach the Constitutional Court under Section 18(b) of the Act for enforcement by seeking issuance of appropriate Writ/order/direction,” the full bench ruled.
The decision was made based on a reference made by a division bench in 2017 following divergent views expressed by two High Court judges. While one of them said that Commission’s recommendations are only recommendatory in nature, the other judge had ruled that they are binding. While seeking to provide more teeth to the Commission, the bench sought to introduce statutory changes enabling the Human Rights Act to become a self-contained law and provide the Commission power to execute its recommendations.
Pointing out that there was a perception that the recommendations of the Commission lack legal sanctity and hence could be trifled with, the bench said, “Such perception and point of view on the part of the implementing authority may not augur well towards addressing the complaints of human rights violation in the country where the written Constitution reigns supreme and is placed at the altar of our governance.”
Reiterating the dire need to provide the human rights commission with an internal/self-contained mechanism, Justice Parthiban who penned the judgement said, “By such amendment/s, the Act would become complete in all fours, leaving no room for procrastination in offering remedial action promptly.”