1 Dec 2020 10:20 AM
The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the State Government to make a statement before it on December 8, about the outer limit within which it will make appointment of Chairperson to the Karnataka State Schedule Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission, which has been lying vacant since 2018.
A Division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said: “State must make a statement on the next date about outer limit within which appointment of Chairperson of SC/ST Commission will be made. If there are vacancies of members even a statement of lling those vacancies, shall be made on the next date.” The direction was given while hearing a
petition led by social and RTI activist, Maruthi.
Advocate MOHAMMED AFEEF appearing for the petitioner submitted that as per section 3 of the KARNATAKA STATE
COMMISSION FOR THE SCHEDULED CASTES AND THE SCHEDULED TRIBES ACT, 2002 prescribes that the
Commission will consist of a Chairperson nominated by the state and two members.” The plea states that the State of Karnataka ranks 7th in terms of crimes against SC’s and ranks 10th in terms of crime against ST’s as per the 2019 data of Nation Crime Record Bureau. The report also observes that the rate of crime against SC’s in Karnataka has increased from 2017 to 2019.
However, the conviction rate for such crimes in Karnataka has been extremely low. It is said that the NCRB data proves
that there has been no effective implementation of the legislation in place which looks at the welfare and provides safeguard measures for the persons belonging to SC/ST.
The petition also mentions that 2.036 cases led before the Commission since its inception in 2003. It has been dysfunctional for non-appointment of Chairperson. There is an urgent need for strengthening the Commission established under the Act.
The petitioner has prayed for a direction to the respondents to effectively implement the Karnataka State Commission for
Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribes Act and rules and to monitor the implementation of the same. Further, appoint an
interim Chairperson to the Karnataka State schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission till the post is led
officially by the state government.