September 23, 2020

SC/ST body defunct

Patna: The State Commission for SC & ST in Bihar is non-functional for the past two years.

As far as the scheduled caste commission is concerned, the post of the chairman, vice-chairman and members are lying vacant for the past two years while the scheduled tribe commission has its chairman but there is no vice-chairman nor any members were appointed to the commission.

Sources in the department said due to non-fulfilment of quorum, the meeting of the panel could not take place for all these years.

Savita Oraon, a complainant from Banka, said: “Till now, I have come to the commission office thrice but each time I had to go as the commission is not functioning. This has led to huge suffering for people like us who come with a lot of hope.”

Most of the cases that come to the commission relate to persecution or torture.

The matter of filling up the posts of SC/ST panel is pending before the high court. The high court had on August 24, 2017, directed the state government to file a counter affidavit indicating what action has been taken for filling up the posts within four weeks.

On November 24, 2017, the high court again asked the state government to take steps for appointment to the offices.

On January 24, 2017, Patna High Court ordered the state government to take action for filling up the posts. But till date, nothing has come up from the state government’s side.

A division bench of Patna High Court of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad on Monday (March 12) directed the secretary, SC/ST welfare department, Prem Singh Meena, to file a reply before the court within two weeks.

All calls to Prem Singh Meena went answered.

The deputy director, Patna division, SC & ST welfare, said: “I cannot comment on this as this is out my jurisdiction. Only the secretary of the department can tell you something about this.”

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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