Vacancies unfilled, minorities panel has only one member

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    Vacancies unfilled, minorities panel has just one member

    Composed by Esha Roy
    | New Delhi |

    November 23, 2020 2: 11: 45 am





    This isn’t the very first time that jobs haven’t been filled out the NCM– in 2017, all seven posts remained empty for over 2 months.

    THE SEVEN-MEMBER National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is down to simply one member. While 5 posts were lying vacant considering that May, the vice-chairperson, Manjit Singh Rai, retired on October 25.

    The NCM is mandated to have seven members, including a chairperson and vice-chairperson, with a member each from the Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi and Jain communities.

    ” There has been some hold-up in filling the jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, however the procedure is underway,” said Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi The ministry suggests the names to the Prime Minister’s Office.

    This isn’t the very first time that vacancies have not been filled in the NCM– in 2017, all 7 posts remained empty for over 2 months.

    The NDA government faced criticism for not filling jobs in the commissions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backwards classes and minorities. The very same year, the Delhi High Court sought the Centre’s response on a plea against the government’s “inaction” in clearing appointments to the NCM.

    ” It holds true that the Commission, even with all its members, is not constantly reliable. However it is nevertheless a representation for minorities and an important instrumentality of the federal government in a democracy that provides company, and when the NCM lies uninhabited, they feel omitted. The NCM supervises of guaranteeing that the Prime Minister’s 15- point program is carried out and the programs for minority communities are actually working,” stated Wajahat Habibullah, who was the NCM chairperson in 2011-2014

    ” In the past, the Commission has actually investigated matters of communal conflict and riots. I have checked out sites of such dispute to investigate. The 2011 Bharatpur common riots were investigated by the Commission. In 2012, a group was sent out to Assam to investigate the Bodo-Muslim clashes, and their findings were submitted to the federal government. Yet now, there is clear targeting of a particular minority in Uttar Pradesh for instance, but the Commission hasn’t stated a word about it so far, which is shocking,” stated Habibullah.

    ” In 2004, the standing committee on social justice and empowerment, headed by Sumitra Mahajan, had actually made specific recommendations to reinforce the NCM. One of the concerns was the inadequate investigative powers that the NCM has … However these suggestions were never executed by the then UPA federal government. Whichever federal government is in power, the reports tabled by the minority commission in Parliament are never ever truly taken up or disputed,” said former Vice President Hamid Ansari, who was likewise NCM chairperson.

    Area 13 of the NCM Act mandates that the annual report, “together with the memorandum of action handled the recommendations included therein”, as well as the reasons for non-acceptance of the suggestions, if any, be tabled before Parliament every year. Sources stated these reports have actually not been tabled in Parliament since 2010.

    ” Even when I took control of in 2006, these reports were no longer being tabled. And I needed to use up the matter with the minorities minister and restore the practice. It is not unintentional that the federal government hesitates to scrutinise,” stated Ansari, who investigated the Nandigram event in West Bengal during his period.

    ” The Commission is suggested to act on complaints that it receives. Many of the grievances that we receive are regarding service matters, where a person may feel that he has actually been terminated or passed over for promotion since of his religion. We also get grievances of residential or commercial property conflicts,” stated B Anand, NCM Secretary.

    Former NCM members stated there has been a shift in the kind of members appointed to the body. While past visits included previous chief justices, civil servants, academicians etc, the current appointees were primarily “social activists” with links to the BJP, they stated.

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