NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SC’s (Article 338)
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SC’s (Article 338)
- A multi-member (non-statutory) Commission for SC & ST was set up in August 1978 with Shri Bhola Paswan Shastri as chairman and other four Members.
- In 1990, the Commission for SCs and STs was retitled as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and it was set up as a National Level Advisory Body to advise the Government on broad policy issues and levels of development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- Committees set up to configure –
- H. Ramdhan Committee(1992)
- Hanumanthappa Committee(1995)
- Dileep Singh Bhuria Committee(1998)
- Bizay Sonkar Shastri Committee(2002)
- The Constitution (Eighty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2003, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes has been replaced by –
- National Commission for Scheduled Castes
- National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
- National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) is established under 338 of the Indian constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
- The separate National Commission for SCs came into existence in 2004
- Both NCSC and NCST are Constitutional Bodies under Art.338 and 338A respectively.
- Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment co-ordinates all activities related to SC’s
- Originally, Article 338 of the Constitution provided for the appointment of a Special Officer for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) to investigate all matters relating to the constitutional safeguards for the SCs and STs and to report to the President on their working.
- In 1978, the Government (through a Resolution) set up a non-statutory multimember Commission for SCs and STs; the Office of Commissioner for SCs and STs also continued to exist.
- In 1987, the Government (through another Resolution) modified the functions of the Commission and renamed it as the National Commission for SCs and STs.
- The 65th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1990 provided for the establishment of a high level multi-member National Commission for SCs and STs in the place of a single Special Officer for SCs and STs. This constitutional body replaced the Commissioner for SCs and STs as well as the Commission set up under the Resolution of 1987.
- Again, the 89th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 bifurcated the combined National Commission for SCs and STs into two separate bodies, namely, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (under Article 338) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (under Article 338-A).
- The separate National Commission for SCs came into existence in 2004. It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members. They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President.
|COMPOSITION OF NCSC|
- Consist of Chairperson, Vice Chair Person and 3 other members.
- Appointed by President by warrant under his hand and seal.
- Service conditionand tenure of chairpersons and members of NCSC is determined by President of India
- To investigate and monitor matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the SC’s
- Inquire specific complaints relating to deprivation of rights of SC’s
- Participate and advice on the planning process of socioeconomic development of the SCs and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state
- To present to the President, annually and at such other times as it may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards
- To make recommendation for effective implementation of safeguards
- To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the SC’s.
|REPORTS OF THE COMMISSION|
- The commission presents an annual report to the President.
- The President places all such reports before the Parliament, along with a memorandum explaining the action taken on the recommendations made by the Commission
- The President also forwards any report of the Commission pertaining to a state government to the state governor.
- The Governor places it before the state legislature
The Commission shall have all the powers of a civil court and in particular in respect of the following matters:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath.
- Requiring the discovery and production of any document.
- Receiving evidence on affidavit.
- Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
- Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents.
- Any other matter which the President may, by rule, determine.
- The Central government and the state governments are required to consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting the SCs.
- The Commission is also required to discharge similar functions with regard to the Anglo-Indian Community as it does with respect to the SCs. Hence, the Commission has to investigate all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the Anglo-Indian Community and report to the President upon their working.
- Till 2018, the commission was also required to discharge similar functions with regard to the other backward classes (OBCs). It was relieved from this responsibility by the 102nd Amendment Act of 2018.
- Article 338 (10) reads as follows: “In this article, references to the Scheduled Castes shall be construed as including references to the Anglo-Indian Community”.