Punjab State Commission for NRIs was established under The Punjab State Commission for Non-Resident Indians Act, 2011 with the sole purpose to safeguard the interests of NRIs for which Commission can suggest various remedial measures to the Government. However, it must be understood that NRI Commission is not equivalent to Courts of Law nor it provides a parallel judicial system. Preamble of the Act provides the purpose of the Act which is reproduced as under:
“to provide for the constitution of a Commission for Non-resident Indians with a view to protecting and safeguarding the interest of the Non-resident Indians in the State of Punjab, and to recommend remedial measures for their welfare and for the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana has explained the scope of powers of Commission while discussing the meaning of word ‘recommendations’ in the case Jatt Ram v. Punjab State Human Rights Commission, 2005 (3) RCR (criminal) 716 and has observed as under:
47. In Chambers 21st Century Dictionary (Revised Edition) also, Recommend has been described to mean to suggest as being suitable to be accepted, chosen etc; to commend.“
48. Thus the view taken by us with regard to meaning of the word “recommendations” in Jai Singh’s case (supra) stands fully fortified. We reiterate that the word “recommendation” used in Section 18 of the Act necessarily means “to suggest”. Such a suggestion cannot be treated to be a decision capable to execution or enforcement.
Also, in the case of Rajinderpal v. State of Punjab, 2009(1) R.C.R(criminal) 613, this Hon’ble High Court took the similar view and the relevant paragraph is reproduced as under:
“7. xx As the law stands, the Commission cannot issue any order or directions to the State but can only make recommendation, which are not binding on the State.”
Thus, from the above-mentioned judgments it is clear that the recommendations passed by the NRI Commission are only directory in nature and not mandatory. The State / Police Officials are free to still apply its independent mind while concluding investigation.