Power Coupled With Duty I

In Julius v. Bishop of Oxford, (1880) 5 AC 214 it was observed, “The words ‘it shall be lawful’ are plain and unambiguous. They confer a faculty or power, and they do not of themselves do more than confer a faculty or power. But there may be something in the nature of the thing empowered to be done, something in the object for which it is to be done, something in the conditions under which it is to be done, something in the title of the person or persons for whose benefit the power is to be exercised, which may couple the power with a duty, and make it the duty of the person in whom the power is reposed, to exercise that power when called upon to do so.”

Recently in Dilip K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, [Writ Petition (Crl.) 539 of 1986] it has been considered, “power of State Governments under Section 21 of The Human Rights Act, 1993 to set-up State Human Rights Commission in their respective areas/territories is not a power simpliciter but a power coupled with the duty to exercise such power especially when it is not the case of anyone of the defaulting States that there is no violation of human rights in their territorial limits.”

Accordingly, States of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland have been directed to set up a State Human Rights Commission for their respective territories within a period of 6 months from 24.07.2015.