The law, as it stands today, does not prescribe any time period for reconstitution of the National Commission for the Backward Classes after the expiry of the term of the previous commission. Therefore, it is not possible to spell out a definite time limit within which the commission would be reconstituted, the Centre has told the Madras High Court.
In a counter-affidavit filed in response to a public interest litigation petition filed by K. Balu, president of Advocates’ Forum for Social Justice, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said the three-year tenure of the last commission came to an end in February this year and the process of identifying suitable individuals for reconstitution was under way.
“Persons with requisite qualifications i.e., eminent persons from socio-political and educationally backward classes who inspire confidence in the socially and educationally backward classes by their personality and record of selfless service have to be identified. Hence, a definite time period by which the next NCBC can be constituted cannot be stated,” the counter read.
The Ministry, however, assured the court that the commission would be reconstituted shortly since the process had begun. When the case was listed before a Division Bench of Justices D. Krishnakumar and Krishnan Ramasamy on Friday, they took the counter-affidavit, sworn by Under-Secretary N.S. Venkateshwaran, on file and adjourned the matter to December 7.