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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

State Commissions in MP: Chair, member posts vacant, where to go for justice?

Bhopal— The situation of the state commissions set up to protect the interests of and ensure justice for women, Dalit, and Adivasi citizens in Madhya Pradesh, is of concern. Some of these commissions have been operating for months without a chairperson or even members, which shows the seriousness of the situation. In the commissions without a chairperson, after complaints received are acknowledged by the relevant department, the file is put in cold storage. Due to which citizens from oppressed, marginalized, and exploited communities and women are being denied timely justice.

Chairperson of women’s commission resigns

The Madhya Pradesh State Women’sCommission was first constituted by the state government on March 23, 1998, under Section 3 of the Madhya Pradesh Rajya MahilaAyogAdhiniyam, 1995 [Madhya Pradesh State Commission for Women Act 1995] (M.P. Act No. 20 of 1996). This commission has seven members, of whom one member is appointed by the government and six members are non-officials. From the non-official members, the state government has given the status of the minister to the chairperson and state minister to the remaining members. Before whom cases are heard related to incidents against women, harassment, etc. Action is taken to ensure speedy justice for the complainant. However, at present, the Madhya Pradesh women’s commission has neither a chairperson nor any members. It is being run entirely by government officials.

The State Women’s Commission chairperson Shobha Oza resigned from her post on June 24. In her resignation letter Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, she said that attempts to dissolve the commission’s executive and embroil it in court procedures are not letting it work. In such a situation, there is no justification to continue in the post, hence she resigned.

For your information, in March 2020, the Kamal Nath Congress government had made appointments in various commissions including the State Women’s Commission. On March 23, Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as the Chief Minister for the fourth time, and hurriedly cancelled the political appointments made by the Kamal Nath government. At present, the commission does not have a chairperson, and other members are also not working due to the ongoing court procedures.

MP government insensitive- Pradeep Ahirwar

While talking to The Mooknayak, Pradeep Ahirwar, member of Madhya Pradesh State Scheduled Castes Commission and minister of state, said that the government of Madhya Pradesh is insensitive towards protecting the rights of citizens belonging to the scheduled castes [SCs]. Ahirwar said, “The Madhya Pradesh Scheduled Castes Commission is in a very bad state. We have written to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan several times to strengthen the commission so that SCs can be given

timely justice, but the CM does not even reply to our letters. Instead of strengthening the Commission, it has been further weakened.”

The Madhya Pradesh State Scheduled Castes Commission was constituted under Act No. 25, 1995. One chairperson and two members are appointed to the commission. But currently, only one member is looking after the work of the commission. In March 20202, the previous Kamal Nath government had made appointments to the commission for both members along with the chairperson. As soon as the government changed, all administrative orders were cancelled, after which the members and the chairperson went to the High Court. At present, the matter is under consideration of the court.

Backward Classes Commission is also a gimmick, another commission set up

The Madhya Pradesh Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Backward Classes Commission Act, 1983, was given the assent of the governor on October 25, 1983. This was first published in the Madhya Pradesh Gazette, (Extraordinary) dated October 28, 1983. The Backward Classes Commission in Madhya Pradesh, however, is in a similar state as the other commissions.

On 15 August, Independence Day, last year, the CM announced the establishment of a State Backward Classes Welfare Commission. When the commission was set up, Gaurishankar Bisen, BJP MLA, and formerly cabinet minister, was appointed as the chairperson.

The Backward Classes Commission was already functioning in the state. In March 2020, the then Kamal Nath government had appointed J.P.Dhanopia as the chairperson of this commission. However, within two days of the fall of the Kamal Nath government and the swearing-in of the new BJPShivrajgovernment, the appointment was cancelled. The Shivraj government decision was challenged in the High Court, which gave the order to maintain the status quo. Along with J.P.Dhanopia, there are other people in the commission as well.

State Scheduled Tribes Commission also has no chairperson

The Madhya Pradesh Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commissions were constituted in Madhya Pradesh as per the Act of 1995-96. In March 2020, Gajendra Singh Rajukhedi was appointed as the chairperson of the State Scheduled Tribes Commission by the then government. But his appointment was also cancelled similarly to the chairperson and members of other commissions.

यहाँ हिन्दी में भी पढ़ें: मध्यप्रदेश: राज्य आयोगों में अध्यक्ष सहित सदस्यों के पद खाली, न्याय के लिए कहां करें फरियाद!

[Story Translated By Lotika Singha]

Ankit Pachauri
Ankit Pachauri
Journalist, The Mooknayak

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