February 19, 2021 1:29:10 am
THE DELHI High Court has ruled that Delhi, as a Union Territory, can designate human rights courts in each district. The court said this while upholding the notification specifying such courts in each district, issued by the Delhi government last year and signed by the L-G.
The court was hearing a petition filed by an activist, arguing that since Delhi is a ‘Union Territory’ and not a ‘State’ within the meaning of Constitution, the notification specifying a Court of Sessions as a Human Rights Court under The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 can only be issued by the Centre.
The petition, challenging the November 24, 2020, notification designating the court of Additional Sessions Judge-2 in each district as a Human Rights Court in Delhi, said the L-G is not authorised to issue it and added that the power is vested with the President of India.
The division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said, “Merely because the enactment is a Central legislation, it does not follow that its implementation can only be undertaken by the Central Government.” The court also said for the purposes of Section 30 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, the expression ‘State’ would include the Union Territory. “Consequently, we find no merit in the aforesaid submission, and notifications have rightly been issued…,” said the order.
Meanwhile, the court has sought Delhi government’s reply regarding a submission that no public prosecutor has been appointed for the Human Rights courts.
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