NEW DELHI: None of the annual reports of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has been placed in Parliament since its inception in 2004, Supreme Court advocate and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy has said.
The non-placing of these annual reports of the NCST in Parliament is a serious lapse on part of the government, he said.
Talking to Express, he said that he would serve legal notices on the Tribal Affairs Minister and the Cabinet Secretary in this regard under Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code.
The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact of sufferings of certain communities and notified them as Scheduled Tribes as per the provisions contained in Article 342 of the Constitution.
The annual reports of the NCST are required to be placed in each House of Parliament under the mandate of Article 338A of the Constitution of India. None of the annual reports can go public without the same being first placed before Parliament.
Not a single annual report of the NCST has been made public since 2004 though four reports till 2008-009 have been submitted to the President and are to be placed before Parliament.
The non-placing of the annual reports of the NCST in Parliament is a violation of the constitutional mandate under Article 338A, Tripathy alleged. Article 338A (6) states as follows: “The President shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament along with a memorandum explaining the action taken or proposed to be taken on the recommendations relating to the union and the reasons for the non-acceptance, if any, of any of such recommendations.”
The recommendations are made by the apex body for tribals after meticulous exercise. However, the same goes in vain when no action has been initiated over those recommendations, Tripathy said. The NCST seems to be demotivated and it failed to submit its subsequent annual reports after its fourth report for 2008-09 till date, Tripathy said.
While Naxalism is on the rise in the tribal-dominated areas, not addressing the tribal issues puts a question mark on the efficacy of the government, he said.
He requested both the authorities to place the NCST annual reports in this budget session of Parliament. Otherwise, he shall be constrained to approach the Supreme Court, he added.