Hyderabad: The Supreme Court on Tuesday levied costs on seven states, including Telangana state, for failing to file responses on setting up human rights courts despite its direction last year.
The TS had little to no response to give to the SC on the issue. The last chairperson of the SHRC had retired in 2016, a position still not filled. Despite multiple raps from the SC and the High Court, the government has not moved to appoint a chairperson and other staff to the human rights commission.
More than three petitions have been filed before the erstwhile Hyderabad High Court to direct the AP government to constitute separate rights commissions for the two states. The High Court directions were not implemented by the two states. Taking serious note of these issues, Hyderabad High Court Chief Justice T.B.N. Radhakrishnan had noted: “We are amazed to hear that no appointment for the post of chairperson has been made to the SHRC and the secretary, who has been going through the cases filed before it, has also retired.”
“There is some officer at a lower rank who may be available. Assuming the person too retires, a situation will arise when the last person in the office who is ordained to keep the lock and key of the office will be empowered to discharge statutory function,” Justice Radhakris-hnan noted.
Petitions have continued to pile up at the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), with no chance of redressal of grievances. It is learnt that the petitioners were advised by some staff at the SHRC to find an alternative option.
Though the AP government issued a GO for the formation of a separate commission with Amara-vati as its headquarters, nothing has been done to appoint members or transfer cases.
The top court imposed costs of `1 lakh each on Rajasthan and Uttarakh-and because they had not filed responses and their advocates were not present in court.
A bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and B.R. Gavai slapped costs of Rs 50,000 each on Telangana state, UP, Odisha, Meghalaya and Mizoram after it was told that they have not filed responses.
The bench said these states can file responses within four weeks subject to payment of cost. The top court had on January 4, 2018, directed the states to file their responses on the issue of setting up of human rights courts....