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Govt to Re-Introduce Bill Granting Constitutional Status to National Commission for Backward Classes

The proposal to introduce the said Bill was stalled during the last Monsoon Session. It was introduced in response to a long felt demand from all categories of Other Backward Classes (OBC) to grant Constitutional status to the NCBC.

News18.com

Updated:November 23, 2017, 12:28 PM IST
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Govt to Re-Introduce Bill Granting Constitutional Status to National Commission for Backward Classes
File photo of Parliament.

New Delhi: The central government is likely to reintroduce a Bill to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session.

Sources have confirmed the development to News18.

The proposal to introduce the said Bill was stalled during the last Monsoon Session. It was introduced in response to a long felt demand from all categories of Other Backward Classes (OBC) to grant Constitutional status to the NCBC and bring it at par with the National Commissions for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes.

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot, on April 5, 2017.

The Constitution Amendment Bill states that the President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union territories. He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned state. However, a law of Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be amended.

During the last Monsoon Session, West Bengal, Odisha and Karnataka raised red flags over the Bill stating that it would snatch away rights of the states. However, states like the CPI(M)-ruled Tripura had supported the Bill. A Parliamentary panel was asked to submit a report on the Bill in the Monsoon Session.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had, however, asserted that the provisions in the proposed Bill do not interfere with the powers of the state government to notify socially and educationally backward classes or undermine the federal structure or the role of states.

One of the primary needs for the amendment was to address the National Commission of SC and ST’S limiting capacity to address grievances of the OBCs.

The power to hear complaints of OBCs and protect their interests continued to be with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. Since the commission dealt with the grievances of SCs and STs, it had limited capacity to address those of the OBCs. This Bill, when enacted, would not only make the NCBC a Constitutional body, but will also empower the NCBC to hear complaints of OBCs, protect their interests and safeguard their rights.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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