National Commission for SC

  • The National Commission for SC (Scheduled Caste) is a constitutional body as it is directly established by Article 338 of the Constitution.
  • On the other hand, the other national commissions like the National Commission for Women (1992) etc are statutory bodies in the sense that they are established by acts of the Parliament.
  • The separate National Commission for SCs came into existence in 2004. National Commission for SC
  • Originally, Article 338 of the Constitution provided for the appointment of a Special Officer for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • But 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).
  • It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members who are appointed by the President.
  • The commission presents an annual report to the President.

Functions and Power

  • The Commission is vested with the power to regulate its own procedure.
  • The Commission, while investigating any matter or inquiring into any complaint, has all the powers of a civil court trying a suit 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 affidavits;
    • requisitioning any public record from any court or office issuing summons for the examination of witnesses and documents; and
    • Any other matter which the President may determine.
  • The Central government and the state governments are required to consult the Commission on all major policy matters affecting the SCs.
  • discharge similar functions with regard to the Anglo-Indian Community as it does with respect to the SCs
  • commission was also required to discharge similar functions with regard to the other backward classes till 2018 (Relieved from this responsibility by the 102nd CAA, 2018)

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