A guarantee of human rights must necessarily contain the limitations or exceptions: Orissa High Court

Human rights are rights that can be used against the government. Cases of conflict between private and State interests must thus take place. The guarantee of human rights must thus unavoidably incorporate the restrictions or exceptions, and, subject to these limits, the guarantee of human rights will prevail so that communal interests cannot be compromised. There can be no such thing as complete or unrestricted freedom, as the Indian Constitution accepts, for such would lead to chaos and mayhem. The judgment was passed by The High Court of Orissa in the case of Rajib Kumar Behera V. State of Odisha and Others [W.P.(C) No. 671 of 2021] by a Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice B.R.Sarangi.

The facts of the case are that the opposite party, being the complainant before the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), filed a petition making certain allegations against the present writ petitioner and his staff, who have been harassing and inflicting atrocities on her and her family members. She specifically alleged that some police personnel came to her house at 2.00 A.M. in the night and forcibly took her husband to the police station and tortured him physically and mentally.

The Commission relies upon the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Nandini Satpathy v. Dani came to a definite conclusion that there is a violation of human rights of Purna Chandra Pattnaik, the husband of the opposite party for which he is entitled to get compensation.

Learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that the order passed by the Commission imposing liability on the petitioner is liable to be set aside as it has not accepted the explanation given by the petitioner and ignored the vital witnesses as well as committed procedural irregularity, for which the said order cannot sustain in the eye of law. It is further contended that the witness, who is the vital witness to the inquiry, has not been taken into consideration by the Commission in proper perspective. Thereby, he seeks for quashing of the order impugned by exercising the extraordinary power under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.

Learned Counsel for the respondent contended that there is no illegality or irregularity committed by the Commission by taking into consideration the inquiry report on the basis of the direction given. More so, the petitioner was also given the opportunity and having availed the same by participating in the process of hearing without any objection, if the Commission has passed the order impugned, that cannot be found to be faulted with so as to cause interference by this Court at this stage. Therefore, the writ petition has no merit and the same should be dismissed with cost.

While dismissing the petition the learned court held that any element without which a guaranteed Fundamental Right cannot be ‘effectively exercised’, cannot be taken away by the State in the exercise of its power to regulate or restrict the exercise of the Fundamental Right.”

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