Tamil Nadu the 12th State to make Minorities Commission a statutory body

The State Minorities Commission Act will come into effect from August 1.

A formal notification will be out shortly. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has given his nod for the continuance of the present composition of the Commission, headed by Vincent Chinnadurai, for a term of three years on the body acquiring statutory powers, according to a government official.

The Bill was adopted by the Assembly during the Budget session and Governor Surjit Singh Barnala gave his assent on May 26.

Tamil Nadu will be the 12{+t}{+h} State to make the State Minorities Commission a statutory body. The other States are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

Subject to the performance of functions of the National Commission for Minorities, the State Commission will examine the working of various safeguards provided in the Constitution and in the laws made by the Assembly for the protection of minorities. It will make recommendations with a view to ensuring effective implementation and enforcement of all the safeguards

Factual assessment

The Commission will make a factual assessment of the representation on minorities in the services of government undertakings, government and quasi-government bodies. In case the representation is inadequate, it will suggest ways and means to achieve the desired level.

It will consider the grievances of the minorities and suggest appropriate solutions from time to time. The body will have the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

The government will have to place the recommendations of the commission before the Assembly along with an action taken report. In the event of the government not accepting the recommendations, the reasons will have to be furnished to the Assembly.

The government has the power to remove the chairman or any member for various reasons including abuse of the position.

The official adds that the government has allowed the extension of the tenure of the present set of office-bearers of the State Backward Classes Commission, a non-statutory body, for two more years. Two weeks ago, an order was issued in this regard.