For illegal offloading and detention of man at Delhi airport
The Delhi High Court has directed the National Commission for Women (NCW) and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to pay Rs.20,000 each to a man for illegally offloading him from a Dubai-bound plane and keeping him in illegal detention at Indira Gandhi International Airport here.
Justice S. Muralidhar passed the order on a petition by the aggrieved person, Vikram Sharma, who had challenged an NCW order asking the DCP, FRRO, to issue a Look-out Circular (LoC), his illegal offloading from a plane and detention consequent to that by the FRRO.
The NCW had asked the FRRO for issuance of the LoC on a complaint by the petitioner's wife, who had accused him of subjecting her to cruelty for dowry, arguing that it had the apprehension that the petitioner might flee the country to frustrate the mediation process started by it.
The NCW had further stated that the petitioner was asked over telephone to appear before it in connection with the complaint.
Holding the issuance of the LoC illegal and without authority of law, Justice Muralidhar said that commissions and tribunals enjoy the powers of a civil court which are not authorised to pass an order for issuance of an LoC.
“Being granted the powers of a civil court for a limited purpose does not vest the NCW with the powers of a criminal court and it has no authority as of today to make a request for the issuance of an LoC,'' Justice Muralidhar said.
“This Court is, therefore, of the view that the action of the NCW in writing to the DCP, FRRO, for issuance of an LOC against the petitioner was without the authority of law. The consequent action of the FRRO in issuing such LoC which resulted in the petitioner being detained at the IGI airport was also, therefore, illegal,'' Justice Muralidhar said.
The Court asked the Union Home Ministry to issue circulars clearly stating that the request for issuance of LoCs cannot emanate from statutory bodies like the NCW.
The Court asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to order an inquiry into how the complaint of the petitioner's wife was transferred from the Crime Against Women Cell to the Anti-Extortion Cell, conclude it within two days and inform about it to the petitioner as well as the complainant within a week thereafter.