Giving relief to AAP leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, the Delhi High Court on Friday set aside National Human Rights Commission’s September 29 order on the Khirki Extension raid this year and asked the commission to conduct a fresh inquiry.
In the order, the NHRC had taken suo motu cognizance of allegations of “racial prejudice and unlawful acts” by Bharti against 12 African women during the raid. The vacation bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Manmohan Singh observed that the legal position was “very clear” regarding orders issued without hearing any of the affected persons, and directed the NHRC to hear the entire matter afresh.
Bharti had approached the High Court, seeking quashing of the NHRC order on grounds that adverse orders had been passed against him without giving him a hearing. He had also demanded compensation of Rs 100 crore from the NHRC for the damage to his reputation.
The single bench of the High Court had dismissed his plea last week, after the NHRC, on December 22, took up Bharti’s plea for a hearing. On Wednesday, Bharti approached the division bench of the High Court against the single bench decision. The appeal had contended that the judge had dismissed his plea without “allowing fair opportunity to explain the facts…”