INTRODUCTION

  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes is dedicated to effectively implement the various acts such as the PCR Act, 1955 and SC and ST (POA) Act, 1989.
  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes is an Indian constitutional body recognized to provide protections against the mistreatment of Scheduled Castes, to promote and protect their social, educational, economic and cultural interests.
  • For this special provisions are made in the Constitution. The NCSC will effort to ensure that the economic development schemes for SC population are implemented according to the guidelines and money is efficiently spend on SCP/SCSP exclusively for the benefit of Scheduled Castes.
  • It also attempt to ensure that reservations implemented at every level, strictly according to government rules and regulations.
  • The Constitution of India offered safeguard in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes through reservation in elected bodies, that is, local rural/urban bodies, Legislative Assemblies and Councils in the State and to the Lok Sabha and in appointment to services and posts.
  • These protections are properly implemented by the State is to be monitored by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes as provided in Article 338 of the Constitution and submit Report to the President of India.

HISTORY

  • 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.
  • The first Commission was constituted in 1992 with Shri S.H. Ramdhan as chairman. The second Commission was constituted in October 1995 with Shri H. Hanumanthappa as chairman.
  • The third Commission was constituted in December 1998 with Shri Dileep Singh Bhuria as the chairman. The fourth Commission was constituted in March 2002 with Dr. Bizay Sonkar Shastri as the Chairperson.
  • Consequent upon the Constitution (Eighty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2003, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes has been replaced by (1) National Commission for Scheduled Castes and (2) National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SCHEDULED CASTES:

  • The first National Commission for Scheduled Castes was constituted on 2004 with Suraj Bhan as the Chairperson.
  • The Second National Commission for Scheduled Castes in series was constituted on May 2007 with Buta Singh as the Chairperson.
  • The Third National Commission for Scheduled Castes has been constituted on October 2010 with P.L.Punia as the Chairperson.

COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION:

  • The Commission shall consist of Chairman, Vice Chairman and three other members. The President of India shall appoint the Chairman, Vice Chairman and members of the Commission.

DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION:

  • Constitution of India under Article 338 has allotted some duties and functions to the Commission. Following functions are performed by commission which have been laid down in clauses (5), (8) and (9) of the Article 338 of the Constitution:
  • Clause (5): It shall be the duty of the Commission:
    • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
    • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes.
    • This is to participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.
    • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards.
    • To make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes.
    • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by the rule specific.
  • Clause (8) – The Commission shall, while investigating any matter referred to in sub-clause (a) or inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of clause (5), have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters, that is:
    • 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 documents.
    • Receiving evidence on affidavits.
    • 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.
  • Clause (9)- The Union and every State Government shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting Scheduled Castes

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION:

  • While examining any issue under sub-clauses (a) and (b) of clause (5), 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 [clause (8)].
  • The Union and State Governments shall consult the Commission on all major policy matters that affect SCs and STs [clause (9)].
  • The Commission shall have power to control its own procedure [Clause (4)].
  • To summarize, the Government of India established National Commission for Scheduled Castes to safeguard depressed sections of Indian society (Scheduled Castes) against exploitation and to promote their social, economic, educational and cultural development.
  • For the effective implementation of the policies set by commission in the constitution, the constitution appoint a special officer under article 338 of the constitution. He is designated as commissioner for Scheduled Castes and is assigned the duty to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards for the Scheduled Castes and to report to the President upon the working of these protections.
  • In order to enable effective functioning of the office of the commissioner for the Scheduled Castes, 17 regional offices of the commissioner are formed in different parts of the country.
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