Madras High Court: In a petition filed against the order of State Human Rights Commission (‘SHRC’), wherein the SHRC has held that the petitioner as a senior police official had violated the Human Rights of the complainant and therefore, the complainant was entitled to receive a compensation of Rs. 25,000/- from the petitioner and recommended for departmental action against the petitioner, the division bench of V.M. Velumani and R. Hemalatha*, JJ. held that the present case is not one which can be classified as a human rights violation.
In the case at hand, the complainant/respondent had approached the police for solving his grievance, he was taken to the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police/petitioner where a “Katta Panchayath” was conducted and on 21-09-2018, when the complainant was again made to appear in the office of the Assistant Commissioner, an undertaking letter was forcibly taken from him. Thereafter, the original document and RC book of his Mercedes Benz Car was taken by the petitioner.
The Court said that the subject of Human Rights violation is such a sensitive one wherein scrutiny and analysis must be done before holding that there has been an instance of Human Rights violation. Human Rights violation includes arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, slavery and forced labour, arbitrary arrest or detention, arbitrary interference with privacy; war propaganda; discrimination; and advocacy of racial or religious hatred.
After examining the report of the Deputy Commissioner, the Court said that the complainant was not a victim of human rights violation. He was neither detained illegally nor subjected to any mental harassment or torture. He, even otherwise, had the habit of going to police stations with such complaints.
Further, it said that it is evident from the contents of his own complaint that his debtors never disputed the amount due or refused to repay the loans. The public visit police stations even for trivial issues of civil nature and at times truce is arrived at the stations. Therefore, without any allegations of harassment or threat by the police, such conclusions regarding human rights violations as concluded by the SHRC would put the entire police force in defence mode.
It also said that the police cannot be accused of human rights violation at the drop of a hat. It may turn out to be a demoralising factor for the entire police force. Therefore, the Court held that the present case is not one which can be classified as a human rights violation.
[Lakshmanan v. The Secretary, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 664, decided on 08-02-2023]
*Order by: R. Hemalatha
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Advocate D. Selvam;
For Respondent: Advocate S. Wilson;
Government Advocate R.L. Karthika;
Advocate G. Murugeshkumar.
*Apoorva goel , Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.