Central Govt has no plan to change reservation policy

Central Government has no plan to change reservation policy

The Central government has no plan to do away with quota policy for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
His assurance came a day after violent protests against a Supreme Court order by Dalits claimed nine lives. The court order dilutes a law on preventing atrocities against the marginalised communities in the country.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said “rumours” were spread that the Union government wanted to end reservation.
“Rumours are being spread about the reservation policy. It is wrong and baseless. I appeal to all political parties to help in maintaining peace and amity in the country,” he said amid noisy protests in the house.
CentralThe Minister said that “the government is fully committed to protect the interests of the SCs/STs and that an advisory has been issued to all the states to ensure law and order”.
He said the government has provided all assistance to the states immediately on their request and is in constant touch with them.
Opposition members shouted slogans and were on their feet in protest against the Supreme Court’s March 20 order pertaining to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Conveying condolences to the families of people who lost their lives during Monday’s protests, Rajnath Singh said “he fully appreciates that there is widespread anger among the people on the Supreme Court order”.
“I wish to inform the house that the government of India was not party in that case. People have taken to the streets. I want to assure them there has been no dilution in law whatsoever by our government. Rather, after coming to power and examining the SC/ST Act, we have taken a decision to strengthen it,” he said.
Rajnath Singh said the then government passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act in 1995.
“As per the amendments, new offences were added. It was observed that due to the delay in filing of charge sheets (in cases of atrocities), the victims and witness who were vulnerable were influenced and silenced. In order to protect them, the provision of witness protection was introduced. The compensation payable to the victims was also enhanced,” the Home Minister said.
He said there has been a new provision wherein action against government servants found negligent in implementing the Act will be taken.
Rajnath Singh said the government acted swiftly and had already filed a petition in the top court to seek review of its order.
Trinamool Congress’ Kalyan Banerjee countered this, saying the Additional Solicitor General had given his consent to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the “dilution in the Act has already been done” and the opposition parties “want to discuss it” in the lower house of Parliament.
AIADMK members, meanwhile, created a ruckus and gathered near Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s podium to demand early constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board to oversee water-sharing arrangement between Tamil Nadu, Karantaka, Kerala, and Puducherry.
Scindia also raised the issue of no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready for a debate on the motion and blamed the Congress for creating disruptions.
“They are trying to halt the democratic process in the house,” Ananth Kumar said. The Speaker said she was unable to proceed with the no-confidence motion notice and adjourned the house for the day.
This is the last week of the budget session that began on January 29 and went into a recess on February 9. The session resumed on March 5 and will conclude on April 6.
The post-break session has been completely washed out amid a logjam in both houses of Parliament. Important Budget bills were passed without debate amid protests.
– 03 April 2018 | IANS | NEW DELHI

SC invokes Constitutional powers to appoint Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta

SC invokes Constitutional powers to appoint Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta
“The failure of Constitutional functionaries to comply with the orders of the highest court of the land is deeply regretted and astonishing,” a Supreme Court bench said on Tuesday before appointing former High Court judge Justice Virendra Singh as the Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh.

The Court exercises its right under Article 142 of the Constitution to make the appointment while regretting that its several orders have not been “heeded” by the Constitutional functionaries — the Chief Minister, the leader of opposition and the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.

In an unusual order, the Supreme Court on Wednesday exercised its Constitutional authority and appointed former High Court judge, Justice Virendra Singh, as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh after the State government failed to comply with its directives.

In an embarrassment for the Samjwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, the bench examined a list of nominees and ordered the appointment.

“The failure of Constitutional functionaries to comply with the orders of the highest court of the land is deeply regretted and astonishing,” a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, adding, “We, therefore, proceed to exercise our right under Article 142 of the Constitution to remedy the situation by passing an appropriate order.”

The Court said that it appoints Justice Singh as Lokayukta and asked the State government to file a report by December 20, 2015 indicating compliance of its order.

The bench regretted that its several orders have not been “heeded” by the Constitutional functionaries — the Chief Minister, the leader of opposition and the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.

In the forenoon, the bench took strong note of the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the State government, that though it had shortlisted five names but no consensus has been arrived at on a specific person.

The bench then asked Mr. Sibal to provide the names by 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday itself and said, “We know how to get our orders complied with”.

The law provides that a high-powered committee of the Chief Minister, the leader of the opposition and the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court together appoints the chief of the State ombudsman.

Earlier on December 14, the apex court had rapped the U.P. government for not appointing the Lokayukta in the State despite its directions, saying it seemed that appointing authorities have their “own agenda”.

The bench was hearing the pleas filed by Mahendra Kumar Jain and lawyer Radhakant Tripathi seeking a direction to the State to appoint the Lokayukta at the earliest in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders.

-PTI, NEW DELHI, December 16, 2015