The People’s Charioteer Organization has moved to the Supreme Court seeking appointment of full-term Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other members of the National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under Article 338 of the Constitution.
Article 338 and 338A of the Constitution of India guarantees provisions to protect and safeguard the rights of the SC/ST community by contemplating the establishment of the two commissions.
The petition has been filed by the organization Secretary. The plea states that since the abovementioned offices are lying vacant, these commissions have failed to provide any relief in matters relating to the SCs and STs in India. They have also failed to publish Annual reports on the developments and working of the safeguards put in place for these communities.
The plea states, “such acts and omissions show the total lack of empathy and seriousness, as regards to the rights of the SCs and STs and the redressal of the encroachment and transgressions of their rights, and the result of which has proved catastrophic to the whole community which is extremely vulnerable and is now bearing the brunt of being targeted systematically by the anti-social elements”.
The appointment of these officials is governed by SC/ST Chairperson &Members (Conditions of Service and Tenure) Rules, 1990 and NCST Chairperson, Vice CP & Members (Conditions of Service and Tenure Rules) 2004.
These rules confer that in case the office of Chairperson becomes vacant then the duties will be discharged by VC and if the Vice-Chairperson office becomes vacant then such other members can discharge the function.
“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 G 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”, the plea states.
It was pointed out in the plea that the Uttar Pradesh Commission has been without Chairperson for over 10 months.