New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre for appointment of full-term chairman and vice-chairman for the National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The petitioner argued that the role of constitutional bodies was pivotal in addressing atrocities committed upon the oppressed communities.
The plea filed by NGO People’s Charioteer Organisation, through advocate Amit Pai, said: “It is submitted, that in the instant case the office of the Chairmen/Chairpersons, Vice-Chairpersons and also that of the members are vacant and in such situation the absence of crucial office-bearers, means that these Commissions are being run by the bureaucracy, which makes them toothless, ineffective and renders several victims of the atrocities remediless.” As a result, these Commissions have become redundant and ephemeral, and fail the very constitutional objectives and mandate for which they have been established.
Citing the Hathras incident, the plea said the crimes against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are getting heinous and gruesome day by day and little is done by the investigative and enforcement authorities to prosecute the accused in these cases. “The latest being, the gruesome and macabre gang rape and torture of a 19-year-old girl in the district of Hathras, Uttar Pradesh wherein the victim received grave injuries and suffered cervical spine injury which led to her ultimate demise, 15 excruciating days after the crime”, said the plea.
The plea also sought direction from the top court to the Uttar Pradesh government to make appointment of the Chairman of the U.P. Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, under the U.P. Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1995.
“This shows the total lack of empathy and seriousness, as regards the rights of the SCs and STs and the redressal of the encroachment and transgressions of their rights. The result of it has proved catastrophic to the whole community, extremely vulnerable. They are now bearing the brunt of being targeted systematically by the anti-social elements,” it said.
The plea cited the annual report of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has not been published since October 17, 2016, which was laid in the Parliament on August 9, 2018. The situation is similar for the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, where annual reports have not been published for the years 2018-19 and 2019-20, as of yet, said the plea.
Citing National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the plea said the bureau records show nearly 45,935 crimes against SCs in 2019, an increase of 7.3 per cent over 2018, and at 11,829 cases, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of crimes against SCs in 2019.