Chairmens of 3 state commissions removed

Pioneer News Service/Lucknow

With the promulgation of the ordinance for fixing the maximum age of chairpersons of all commissions and tribunals at 65 years, the chairmen of UP SC, ST Commission, OBC Commission and Minorities Commission have been removed.

The term of Chairman of SC, ST Commission SD Bagla, Chairman of OBC Commission Justice (retd) Ramsurat Singh and Minorities Commission Irshad Mirza has ended with immediate effect.

Three ordinances for the three commissions were promulgated by state Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri on June 8. The cabinet had approved the proposal for fixing the maximum age at 65 years on June 7. The three ordinances promulgated were UP State Commission for Backward Classes (Amendment), 2001, UP Commission for the SC and ST (Amendment), 2001 and UP Commission for Minorities (Amendment), 2001.

The ordinance would also apply on the Chairperson of UP Women Commission as and when the commission is constituted by the state government. The Women's Commission was disbanded by the state government in October last year. The commission is likely to be reconstituted soon.

Official sources said three ordinances have been promulgated for ensuring uniformity in age of chairpersons of all tribunals and state commissions. Presently there was no age limit for the chairpersons of state commissions. The legislations for creation of these commissions provide only for the tenure of the chairpersons, which is three years in most of the cases. However, in case of tribunals the maximum age of chairpersons is 65 years.

Sources said the issue of uniformity in the maximum age for chairpersons of state commissions cropped during consultations at the Chief Minister-level for the constitution of UP State Human Rights Commission.

The Chief Minister was told that the maximum age of the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is 70 year. But the NHRC Chairman happens to be a retired judge of the Supreme Court where the retirement age is 65 years. On the directions of the Chief Minister the proposal was sent to the cabinet and an ordinance was promulgated, sources said.

Officials denied that the motive of the ordinance was to dislodge the Chairman of the UP SC, ST Commission SD Bagla, who was proving to be difficult for the state government due to his proactive stance against the incidents of atrocities on Dalits.

Meanwhile, president of All India Confederation of SC, ST Organisations Ramraj has criticised the removal of SD Bagla, saying the government's decision smacks of political vendetta and a political conspiracy. He alleged that even before the promulgation of the ordinance the security cover of Bagla was withdrawn on June 8 itself. He charged that Bagla has been punished for his strong pro-Dalit role in curbing their persecution.

He said a powerful lobby of senior bureaucrats had ganged up against Bagla since he had summoned the chief secretary, principal home secretary and principal secretary law before the commission, following the complaint of a Schedule Caste IPS officer Rameshwar Dayal, after his dismissal from service.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 13, 2001
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