The Delhi High Court recently quashed the notice issued by Meghalaya Women Commission to summon the Secretary of Delhi Golf Club in an incident which involved the alleged ouster of a tribal woman from the dining room of the Club.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru set aside the notice, ruling that the Commission did not have jurisdiction to pursue any proceedings with regard to events that transpired at the Club.
The Commission had issued the notice on a complaint filed by Ms. Tailin Lyngdoh, a governess, who had accused the club and its members of racial profiling of people, which was tantamount to racial discrimination of tribal people, a punishable offence.
Ms. Lyngdoh had alleged that she was asked to leave the dining room only because she was wearing the traditional Khasi attire 'Jainsem'.
The Club had, however, denied allegations of racial discrimination, contending that it was only trying to implement the club rules, which do not permit members to bring maids/domestic help inside the premises to render assistance to them.
At the outset, the Curt noted that the functions to be performed by the Commission are for the benefit and upliftment of women in the State of Meghalaya. It further observed that the Commission does not have any extra territorial jurisdiction outside the State of Meghalaya, as the Meghalaya State Commission for Women Act, 2005 was limited to the State.
It then quashed the impugned notice, observing, "In the present case, there is no dispute that the incident complained of occurred at Delhi and no part of the cause of action had arisen within the State of Meghalaya. The petitioner also does not have any presence in any State other than in NCT of Delhi. As stated hereinbefore, the Act is applicable only in the State of Meghalaya and, therefore, the Commission does not have the jurisdiction to entertain complaints regarding events/incidents that have occurred outside the State."