The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is a constitutional body established to protect Scheduled Castes from exploitation and to promote and protect their social, educational, economic, and cultural interests.
As Special Provisions have been created in the Indian constitution, the commission was created as per Article 338 of the constitution.
What are the functions that the commission perform?
The commission investigates and oversees all matters relevant to the safeguards given for Scheduled Castes under the Constitution, any other law in force at the time, or any government order. It assesses the effectiveness of such safeguards.
The panel looks at particular complaints about Scheduled Castes being denied their rights and protections. It is the commission's responsibility to participate in and advise on the planning process for the Scheduled Castes' socio-economic development, as well as to assess their progress under the union and any state.
The panel must report to the President on the effectiveness of those protections at least once a year and at other times as the commission sees suitable.
The commission provides recommendations in such reports as to the measures that should be taken by the union or any state to ensure that such safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare, and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes are effectively implemented.
The commission can carry out any further tasks related to the protection, welfare, development, and progress of the Scheduled Castes that the President specifies by rule, subject to the terms of any law passed by Parliament.
The first Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was set up in August 1978 withBhola Paswan Shastri as Chairman and other four members.
Power of Civil Court
The commission shall have 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 on oath.
Requiring the discovery and production of any documents.
Receiving evidence on affidavits. Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents.
Any other matter which the President may by rule, determine.