The Manipur High Court, refusing to quash an arrest warrant issued by State women's Commission, has held that, at the stage of inquiry, the commission has the power of Civil Court to summon and ensure attendance of any person from any part of India.
Wife of one of the petitioners had filed a complaint against them before Women commission accusing them of ill treating her at home. The commission admitted the complaint and summoned the petitioners who filed a written statement through their power of attorney. The commission insisted on their personal appearance and issued arrest warrant. The petitioners before the High court challenged the issuance of warrant.
The court held : "In view of the conclusion drawn above and in view of the provision in clause (2) of Section 10 of the Act, I am of the opinion that the Commission has the power not only to entertain such complaint but to direct the parties to appear in order to ascertain whether there is substance in the complaint or not. Because, the Commission would be able to take up such matters with the authorities concerned, for appropriate remedial measures only after ascertaining the prima-facie of the complaint. "
The court further observed "In this case, it appears from the submission of the learned counsels that the stage of the complaint case before the State Commission is at the stage of inquiry. At that stage, as stated above, the Commission has the power of Civil Court as provided under Clause (2) of Section 10 of the Act. As such, this Court is not inclined to quash the proceeding(s) of Complaint pending before the Commission."
The court directed the petitioners to submit applications before the Commission for recalling the warrant of arrest issued against them by showing proper cause, within a period of ten days.
Two months ago, The High Court of Delhi had criticized the National Commission for Women (NCW) for abusing the authority granted to it, and observed that NCW is not authorized to become a Judge or arbiter in individual complaints of women. Read Live Law Story here.
Two years ago, A Bombay High Court had ruled that the National Commission for Women “is not entitled to arrive at final conclusions or grant reliefs that a civil or criminal court can.” Read Live Law story here.
Read the Judgment here.