The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Center and the UP Govt to reply to the pleas filed regarding the appointment of Chairperson and other members in national panels of SCs and STs.
The bench was headed by S.A Bobde and it observed that there were several vacancies in the national commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), national commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and Uttar Pradesh SC and ST commission at the time of atrocities against these communities. The Supreme Court issued notices to NCSC, NCST and the UP commission.
Advocate Rajesh Inamdar, appearing for peoples Charioteer Organization (PCO) brought to the notice of the court that several posts of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other members were lying vacant in the NCSC and the NCST for over 10 months now and the same posts have been vacant in the UP commission from 2019.
The plea said that NCSC and NCSTs have been established through article 338 and Article 338A of the constitution in order to safeguard the interests of the weaker sections with duties specified under the sub-clauses of those sections.
Due to the vacancies in posts the panel have failed to perform their duty of protecting and providing relief to the SCs and STs in times of atrocities. The panel has also failed to write an annual report on the functioning of safeguards put in place for the SC, STs.
The plea further said that this shows a lack of empathy towards the SC, ST communities and is catastrophic to the whole community. It is bearing the brunt of being systematically targeted by anti-social elements.
The petition drafted by advocates such as Rajesh Inamdar said that the role of commissions is very important in a country like India and like the National Human Rights Council (NHRC) the commission also can go and approach the court for the protection of these minorities.
The petition also brings to the notice of the court that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) records are alarming.
The bureau records that there was a 7.3% increase in the crimes against SCs compared to 2018 which brings it to a total of 45,935 crimes in 2019.
The Court has directed the Centre and the UP govt to fill the office bearers in these commissions and further ask the panels to draft annual reports regarding the functioning of the safeguards within a reasonable time.
In NCSC the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman and 3 members are vacant, and similarly, in NCST the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman and one member is vacant.
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