SC/STs to launch series of protests
The members of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations will be launching a series of protests in different parts of the country to air their protest following the findings of the Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes which were tabled in Parliament this year.
Addressing reporters, confederation chairman Ram Raj said that the protests will culminate in a massive rally in New Delhi in November. The second report of the committee headed by Mr Kariya Munda said that it is high time that the Parliament must enact a Judiciary Act spelling out the governing principles of the proper functioning of the judiciary.
It had further stated that it is absolutely irrational to withhold the policy of reservation from some areas altogether as has been done so far in respect of defence services, judiciary etc.
Taking information available till May 1, 1998, the 30-member parliamentary committee had stated: "The information available confirms the committee's apprehension about a very sad state of affairs in the matter of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in higher judiciary. The committee is surprised to see that out of 481 high court judges, only 15 Scheduled Castes and five Scheduled Tribes were in position as on May 1, 1998. The representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the judgeship of Supreme Court was nil on that date in spite of the fact that some suitable, eligible and well qualified SC/ST candidates were available in the consideration zone."
The committee had also recommended early setting up of a National Judicial Commission, including one member from Scheduled Castes and one from Scheduled Tribe to deal with appointment, transfer and placement of judges of various high courts and the Supreme Court. "This should be supplemented by constituting an All India Judicial Service," the committee said.