Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file its reply in four weeks on a plea seeking appointment of members to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur issued notices to the Centre and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on the plea filed by a lawyer who also sought fixing of a time-frame for filling up the vacancies in the Commission.
The plea contended that Centre has taken a number of steps for the “social, economic and educational” upliftment of Scheduled Tribes but the vacancies in the panel have made the ambition of the government “futile and unreachable” as there is no member in it except Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
The apex court was hearing a petition, filed by advocate Radhakanta Tripathy, alleging that the Commmission was non-functional since the Centre and the Ministry have failed to appoint three other members of the commission as required under the Constitution.
“Plans, proposals for upliftment of tribal, eradication of Naxalism and vision of inclusive growth cannot be fructified unless their issues are dealt with on utmost priority,” the plea alleged.
“The non appointment of members has made the ambition of the government for social, economic and educational upliftment of Scheduled Tribe Community, futile and unreachable,” said the petition.