NEW DELHI:A Parliamentary panel has recommended constitutional status for the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) without any delay, observing that the statutory body is almost ineffective to deal with cases of atrocities against minority communities.
In its 53rd report, the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment (2017-18) also noted that in the absence of a constitutional status, the NCM does not enjoy the same powers as enjoyed by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. The report was presented to the Lok Sabha and laid in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Though the panel, chaired by BJP MP Ramesh Bais, highlighted the NCM’s inability to deal with the cases of atrocities against minorities, it did not specify any particular incident.The panel pointed out that a bill according constitutional status to the NCM was prepared way back in 2013 but it was still pending before the government. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Minority Affairs assured that a resolution in this regard would be passed in the next meeting and sent to the Cabinet Secretary.
The panel questioned the Ministry why the NCM does not take note as well as action in various incidents taking place against the minorities.Notably, the NCM has sought the Centre’s assistance to set up a dedicated investigation cell such as the one existing in the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. The NCM’s request is a part of its annual report for 2016-2017 which is likely to be tabled in Parliament soon.