HC asks Bharti's reply on outcome of NHRC proceedings
The Delhi High court on Monday asked AAP leader Somnath Bharti to apprise it about the final outcome of the proceedings before NHRC in connection with his controversial midnight raid early this year.
New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Monday asked AAP leader Somnath Bharti to apprise it about the final outcome of the proceedings before NHRC in connection with his controversial midnight raid early this year.
Justice V K Shali directed Bharti, the ex-Law Minister of Delhi, to state on affidavit whether he received the documents mentioned in the letter sent to him by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on November 27.
The November 27 letter was sent by NHRC to Bharti in response to his November 3 notice to the commission's Chairperson seeking recall of its September 29 order on the ground that he was not given the relevant documents.
The letter had also sought Bharti's presence on December 8 before the commission.
The court also asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader to indicate in his affidavit whether he appeared before NHRC on December 8 as well as the final outcome of the proceedings being conducted by the commission.
It passed the order as there was nothing in Bharti's plea regarding December 8 proceedings and the Centre, represented by advocate Jasmeet Singh, was also not aware of the status of the same.
During the proceedings, advocate Deepak Khosla, appearing for Bharti, told the court that on December 8 the commission had reserved its verdict and notified December 15 for passing orders.
The court, however, refused to accept the oral submission and said that Bharti's plea will be heard after the affidavit is filed.
Later in the day, Khosla mentioned before the court that he has filed the affidavit and the judge listed Bharti's plea for hearing tomorrow.
In his plea, the former Law Minister has challenged the NHRC's September 29 order holding him guilty of "racial prejudice and unlawful acts" against 12 African women during his controversial midnight raid.
During the day's hearing, Khosla alleged that the whole thing is a "charade" created by Delhi Police for political reasons. He also claimed that Delhi Police has sent the African women back to their native country.
The NHRC proceedings were also termed as a nullity by Khosla, who alleged not a single independent witness was produced before the commission and that Bharti was neither heard nor allowed to lead evidence in his defence.
In his petition, Bharti has claimed that he was not given any notice of certain proceedings initiated by NHRC 'suo motu' in January 2014, in which he was prejudicially viewed by the commission as the wrongdoer.
It has also said NHRC had prematurely directed the Delhi government to pay Rs 25,000 compensation each to the 12 women, who had allegedly suffered racial abuse, illegal detention, intimidation, abuse, assault and indignity by the AAP leader.
"A writ of certiorari is prayed for from this court, so that the records of NHRC may be certified as being either correct or incorrect, and if incorrect, to declare the order as a 'nullity' in law, and in such event, to quash and set it aside, as it is null and void," it has said.
The plea has also questioned whether NHRC has the jurisdiction to award compensation based on mere 'prima facie' findings, without taking the proceedings before it to their full logical conclusion.