SC/ST Commission Not Empowered To Adjudicate Disputes Between Individuals: Karnataka High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesSC/ST Commission Not Empowered To Adjudicate Disputes Between Individuals: Karnataka High Court Mustafa Plumber4 Jan 2021 6:18 AMShare This – xThe Karnataka High Court has held that the Karnataka State Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, is not empowered to adjudicate and decide disputes between parties and pronounce its orders either interim or final. A single bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna said “Sections 8 and 10 of the Karnataka State Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 2002, makes…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka High Court has held that the Karnataka State Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, is not empowered to adjudicate and decide disputes between parties and pronounce its orders either interim or final. A single bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna said “Sections 8 and 10 of the Karnataka State Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 2002, makes it abundantly clear that the Commission is not empowered to adjudicate upon the rights of parties.” It added “The power vested with the Commission of Inquiry and submission of a report cannot be extended to adjudicate all disputes between individuals and a State or a statutory authority. The powers conferred do not contemplate that the Commission can examine matters like a civil Court and adjudicate disputes and pronounce its decision either interim or final or issue a direction of the kind that is issued in the case on hand.” By order dated November 11, 2016 the commission directed the State Government to accord retrospective seniority to the fifth respondent K.R.MURALIDHAR, working as Superintendent in the office of director Department of Pre University Education and also grant him all consequential monetary benefits and also effect correction of date of entry into service of Superintendent in the seniority list inter se between the petitioner M.B.SIDDALINGASWAMY. Advocate M.S. Bhagwat, appearing for the petitioner would submit that the very petition before the Commission was not maintainable as the fifth respondent being a Government servant had to approach the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal for redressal of his grievance and the Commission had no jurisdiction to issue directions. While the counsel for the Commission and the State government contended that redressal of grievance of a citizen belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe is the duty of the Commission when discrimination against such candidate is evident on the face of it. The bench referred to Article 338 of the Constitution of India and the 65thendment to Article 338 by which it vested the Commission with all the powers of a civil Court trying a suit while investigating any matter referred to it under sub-clause (a) or enquiring into any complaint referred it under sub-clause (b) of Clause (5) of Article 338. Sub-clause (a) reads thus: To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards. Sub clause (b) read thus: to inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes; Accordingly, it said “The Commission cannot be construed to be a Tribunal or a forum discharging the functions of a judicial character or Court. Article 338 of the Constitution itself does not entrust the Commission with the power to take up the role of a Court or an adjudicatory Tribunal and determine the rights of parties inter se.” Justice Nagaprasanna said “Clause (8) of Article 338 gives all the powers of a civil Court trying a suit but the said powers are to be exercised while investigating any matter referred to it in the clauses aforementioned which would make it clear that the powers bestowed upon the Commission by the Constitution are procedural powers of the civil Court for the purpose of investigating and enquiring into matters and are limited only for that purpose. The procedure that is conferred under Article 338 cannot be confused to be conferring a substantive power akin to that of a civil Court or a Tribunal which are adjudicating bodies of disputes of citizens.” The court while quashing the impugned order of the Commission noted that “The impugned order which decides the dispute between the petitioner and the fifth respondent and gives a direction to the State Government to promote the fifth respondent with retrospective effect, correct the seniority, extend all consequential benefits and report the action taken back to the Commission, are all powers which are ostensibly adjudicatory in nature, which power the Commission, in terms of the law laid down by the Apex Court in the cases of ALL INDIA INDIAN OVERSEAS BANK SC AND ST EMPLOYEES’ WELFARE ASSOCIATION & OTHERS v. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS reported in (1996) 6 SCC 606 and COLLECTOR v. AJIT JOGI reported in (2011) 10 SCC 357 (supra) interpreting Article 338 of the Constitution of India, does not have.” Case Details: M.B.SIDDALINGASWAMY And THE STATE OF KARNATAKA Case No: WRIT PETITION No.63405/2016 Date of Order: 23RD DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2020 Coram: JUSTICE M. NAGAPRASANNA Appearance: Advocate M.S.BHAGWAT for petitioner. SAVITHRAMMA, HCGP FOR R1 TO R3 Advocate JAGADISH for R4 Advocate A.R.Shashi Kumar, for R5.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Next Storylast_img

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