New Delhi: Aiming to further consolidate its hold among the backward classes, the BJP-led NDA government is all set to accord the newly-approved constitutional body for them the powers of civil courts.
Following BJP’s resounding victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls in which the backward classes played a decisive role, the party-led NDA government approved last week the setting up of National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC).
Fulfilling the long-pending demand for a constitutional body for the OBCs, the Union Cabinet under chairpersonship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved last week the setting up of the NCSEBC and decided to repeal the law under which the existing National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was set up.
The NCBC is a statutory body for the backward classes under the Social Justice Ministry. It will be replaced by the NCSEBC.
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The Bill to provide the constitutional status to the new body will be introduced in Parliament.
Unlike NCBC, the proposed NCSEBC can look into the cases of grievances by backward classes. And if needed, the new body can summon the accused and award punishment as it will have powers equivalent of a civil court, said sources.
The newly-approved commission will have more teeth compared to the present body and the castes which will be included by this new body in the central list of the OBCs can not be removed as it will have the constitutional mandate, the sources said.
The NCBC’s duties included receiving representations from the persons belonging to the backward classes on various issues like discrimination faced by them, non-implementation of reservation rules by authorities etc.
It was, however, not empowered to look into the grievances of the people of Other Backward Classes, whereas the National Commission for Scheduled Castes was the competent authority to look into all the grievances, rights and safeguards relating to scheduled castes.
The new Commission will comprise a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
Interestingly, the government’s move comes at a time when the Jats are demanding OBC status for the community.