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Ministry of Minority Affairs07-December, 2012 18:46 IST
Strengthening and Empowerment of National Commission for Minorities

The Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Bill, 2004, to confer constitutional status on the National Commission for Minorities and the National Commission for Minorities (Repeal )Bill were introduced in the Lok Sabha in December, 2004. The former Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment. After examination of the recommendation of the Standing Committee, notice for moving official amendments, and for consideration and passing of these Bills, was given to the Lok Sabha on 11.05.2007. In the mean time representations were received on the proposed official amendments to the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Bill, 2004 and it was decided with the approval of the competent authority that the amendments should not be moved till the issues raised in these representations were resolved.

After consideration of the representations, official amendments, and notice for consideration and passing of these Bills, was once again given to the Lok Sabha on 05.02.2009. However, with the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha, these matters could not be taken up and both these Bills together with the official amendments lapsed.

The matter was further examined by Government and it was felt that, while proceeding to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Minorities, which is of doubtful utility for imparting effectiveness to this body, the Government might end up with several other problems and possibly litigation.

In July 2011 the NCM informed the Government that it did not want to pursue the grant of constitutional status to it but wanted that police and investigation powers be given to it. As this matter is under examination and such powers sought for will entail consultations and amendment of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, no time frame can be fixed for completing the exercise.

This was stated by Shri Ninong Ering, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs in response to a written question in Lok Sabha yesterday. The question related to proposal to strengthen and empower the National Commission for Minorities .

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