Lok Sabha

August 2, 2018

Kalyan Banerjee speaks on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 

Kalyan Banerjee speaks on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 


We were discussing the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill on January 3, 2018, but because of disturbances, the House was adjourned and the discussion could not continue. This matter was discussed in the Rajya Sabha and the Amendment which had been brought by Bhartruhari Mahtab was accepted by the Rajya Sabha and now the Amendment has come for our consideration. Sir, on that date I had categorically said that we welcome this Amendment. Some of the anxieties have now been taken care of by reason of the amendment which has been accepted in Rajya Sabha itself.

I will just point out one or two things. Firstly, I really appreciate the Amendment that the State Government is not bound. According to Clause B (ii), provided such consultation that is not mandatory for the State Government in respect of our policy matter, affecting socially and educationally backward classes which are included in the list of our Constitution. Basically, we wanted to say this.

And every consultation with the State Government is very meaningful consultation, not mere consultation. It should be a meaningful consultation. In that case, both the Centre and the State will help, both have obligations, either in the case of SC or ST or OBC. Those who are lagging behind, the support has to be given to them for the purpose of equality. Now, therefore, the Bill is the concern. It is a nice one. We must try to resolve their problems as quickly as possible.

The chairman of the commission is there, members are there. Since it is concerning OBCs, appropriate steps should be taken so that the vice-chairman is appointed from among the OBC categories. That would be very helpful. They are more concerned about their problems.

One thing I just want to tell the Hon. Minister is that the number of scholarships that were given to OBCs have decreased by a large number. It has to be restored. They should be given more scholarships and more benefits.

Our Hon. Chief Minister, through a letter on July 23, 2016, addressed to the Hon. Prime Minister, had pointed out the degree of decreasing scholarships – the amount and the numbers. I will be happy if the Hon. Minister kindly takes care about that.

I will be completing my speech by saying one more thing, since in the morning it was also there – regarding the judgement pronounced with respect to the Scheduled Caste matter, diluting the provision for making FIRs and not to grant anticipatory bail.

Today it has been informed by our Hon. Home Minister that the Cabinet has taken the decision to bring in the The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017. We welcome it, but I have one question. The presiding judge, who was delivering the judgement in that case, the day after he retired was appointed in the Green Tribunal. This is a matter of surprise. When vacancies for Supreme Court judges are not being filled up, when for months after months vacancies of the High Courts are not being filled up, year after year; against whom are you speaking? The judgements, not any individuals. That presiding judge was appointed overnight. If anyone does something in favour of Scheduled Castes, Schedule Tribes and OBCs, it is because they need help and assistance, and that is a constitutional goal also. Otherwise, Part IV of the Constitution of India would become meaningless.

By saying this, and other things, whatever the agonies were there on January 3, have been removed. I wish this commission should starts functioning immediately in the true spirit of the provisions of the Constitution for the betterment of the people, that is, OBCs, who deserve help and assistance either from the Central Government or from the State Governments.

With this, Sir, I conclude.