Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 8
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond to a PIL seeking directions for appointment of full-term chairman and vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued notices to the Centre, the state of Uttar Pradesh and others on a PIL filed by People’s Charioteer Organisation in October last year after the gang rape and subsequent death of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras.
The posts of the chairperson and the vice-chairperson and members in both the NCSC and the NCST were vacant. In Uttar Pradesh the chairperson’s posts were vacant, the petitioner NGO alleged.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were nearly 45,935 crimes against SCs in 2019, an increase of 7.3% over 2018 (42,793 cases) Uttar Pradesh had recorded the highest number of crimes against SCs in 2019 i.e. 11,829 cases, the NGO submitted.
Due to the vacancies and fact that the Commissions were being run by the bureaucracy, the two bodies had become toothless, ineffective and the victims of the atrocities rendered remediless, it alleged.
“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. It has proved catastrophic to the whole community. They are now bearing the brunt of being targeted systematically by the anti-social elements,” the NGO contended.
The petitioner pointed out that the annual report of NCSC had not been published since October 2016 and the NCST’s reports for 2018-19 and 2019-20 were yet to be published.