Skip to main content

Official indifference: National SC Commission's Gujarat office is non-functional; 3,500 cases are pending

By Our Representative
Why is the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCs) unable to function normally in Gujarat to inquire into different human rights issues involving Dalits? If NCSC officials are to be believed, it is because it does not have “adequate staff”, or “basic infrastructure”, or even a car, or, worse, a “proper office to function from”. All this and more has come to light in a Right to Information (RTI) reply to NGO Navsarjan Trust’s senior activist Kirit Rathod. The reply revealed, as a result of all this, more than 3,500 complaints has been pending before the NCSC for the last several years.
NCSC’s Gujarat office, says the RTI reply, was established in 1991, and has been functioning from a two-room office of the Mavlankar Mansion near Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad. Despite the fact that the NCSC’s head office requested state social justice and empowerment secretary Sanjay Prasad to urgently look into the transfer of the NCSC office operating from an “old office situated in a very congested area of Ahmedabad” to Gandhinagar, the state capital, more than two years have passed, nothing has happened.
Prasad was particularly told why it is important to shift the office – because it should work in close cooperation with the Gujarat government. “All the information and data etc. is to be collected from state government departments”, he was suggested in the letter written in November 2011. Even space needed for NCSC office in Gujarat noted down – 2,500-3000 sq feet “approximately”.
The RTI application further reveals that the NCSC does not have a car of its own – the one it “owned”, has been sent back to Delhi, as it was in such bad state that it couldn’t even run for 100 km. While the vehicle was disposed of, the RTI reply says the NCSC does not have a new one for quite some time now, one reason why “it is possible to carry out on-the-spot inquiry into cases of atrocity and the VVIPs are unable to move around to find out realities.”
In a statement, Rathod said, “I decided to visit the NCSC office, and found that the office routinely forwards complaints a fortnight or a month after it gets one, and does no follow-up. The result is, the complaints are continuing to pile up. “I asked deputy director of the NCSC A Satyanarayana about it, and he said replied he could not do anything because he did not have any staff. He told me, the office did not have any vehicle either”, Rathod said, adding, “The office runs on a monthly rent of Rs 12,549. And, Satyanayana often visits the office of the district collector in auto rickshaw. Often, he just avoids going to any meetings.”
The Ahmedabad office has an approved strength of 15 officials, and only seven posts have been filled up. “The director’s post has been vacant for several years”, Rathod said, adding, “The Chandigarh director holds additional charge of the Gujarat office. Not without reason, it has failed to look into several cases, into the killing of three Dalits in Thangarh, exodus of Dalit families from their villages, and other such incidents.”

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”