The Delhi High Court has asked the NHRC to examine its power to award damages and take a relook at its order directing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to pay Rs 50,000 as damages to an accused in a FERA violation case.
Remanding back the matter to NHRC for consideration on the question of limitation, Justice Sunil Gaur asked NHRC to explain the reasons in case the Commission claimed to have the jurisdiction to award immediate compensation.
The court allowed a petition filed by the central government through ED questioning the jurisdiction of the Commission to pass an order on immediate relief.
In 2000, NHRC had directed ED to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to accused Prabhakar L Mehta on his complaint that he was being tortured by the ED officials during raids at his residence conducted by them with regard to a foreign exchange violation case in 1997.
According to the prosecution, in 1996 Mumbai-based Mehta had illegally transferred foreign exchange worth Rs 467 crore from South Indian Bank, Mumbai, against bogus import.
On Mehta's plea, the NHRC had ordered an enquiry and following the enquiry report, the Commission had awarded an interim relief of Rs 50,000 to the victim and asked the investigating agency to shell out the amount.
Challenging the interim order of NHRC, the Central government moved a petition before the High Court and questioned the Commission's limitation.