CHAPTER III

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7.0 INVESTIGATION AND INQUIRY BY THE COMMISSION

7.1 The Commission shall function by holding ‘sittings’ and ‘meetings’ at any place within the country and also through its officers at the Headquarters and in the State Offices. The Members of the Commission including the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall function in accordance with the procedure prescribed under these rules.

7.2.1 The Commission may adopt any one or more of the following methods for investigating or inquiring into the matters falling within its authority:

(a) by the Commission directly;

(b) by an Investigating Team constituted at the Headquarters of the Commission; and

(c) through its State Offices

(d) by the State Agencies

(e) by any other institution/Deptt funded by Central Govt. and its statutory bodies.

7.2. (a) Investigation and Inquiry by the Commission directly.

7.2.(a) i The Commission may hold sittings for investigation into matters relating to safeguards, protection, welfare and development of the Scheduled Castes for inquiry into specific complaints for which the Commission decided to take up investigation or inquiry directly. Such sittings may be held either at the Headquarters of the Commission or at any other place within the country.

7.2.(a) ii The sitting(s) of the Commission would be held after giving due notice to the parties intended to be heard and also due publicity / notice to the general public. Care will be taken to see that the members of the Scheduled Castes who are affected in the mater under investigation or inquiry are given due information through notice or publicity.

7.2.(a) iii When a decision for direct investigation is taken, an officer not below the rank of Investigator/Research Officer/Section Officer along with necessary staff may be attached to the Member(s) entrusted with such investigation or enquiry and they shall take all steps to arrange such sittings.

7.2.(a) iv The Commission shall convene meeting of all the Chief Secretaries, Secy (Home), Secy (Social Welfare), DGPs of the State and Secretaries of the Govt. of India, who may be considered accountable for the implementation of the programme of the safeguards as enumerated under Article 338 (5) (a) once in a year for monitoring the safeguards and development.

7.2.(a) v In accordance with clause 8 of Article 338 of the Constitution, while investigating in a matter referred to in sub-clause (a) or in inquiring into any complaint referred to in sub-clause (b) of clause (5) of Article 338, the Commission shall have all the powers of civil court trying a suit and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:-

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;

(b) requiring the discovery and production of any document;

(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;

(d) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;

(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents;

(f) any other matter which the President may, by rule, determine.

7.2.(a) vi The Commission for the purpose of taking evidence in the investigation or inquiry requires the presence of any person and when considered necessary may issue summons to him/her with the approval of the Chairman. The summons for enforcing attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him/her during the course of investigation and inquiry by the Commission shall provide at least 15 days’ notice to the person directed to be present before the Commission from the date of receipt of the summons. In serious cases of atrocities, three days notice will be given to the person directed to be present before the Commission from the date of receipt of the summons by him/her.

7.2.(a) vii Where the property, service/employment of Scheduled Castes and other related matters are under immediate threat and prompt attention of the Commission is required, the matter shall be taken cognizance by issue of telex/fax to the concerned authority for making it known to them that the Commission is seized of the issue and that authority will be prohibited to take any action till the completion of the enquiry in the matter by the NCSC.. Urgent reply by telegram or fax shall be called from the concerned authority. In case no reply is received within three working days, the authority concerned may be required to appear before the Commission at a three days notice for enquiry.

7.2.(a) viii The Commission may issue commission/under clause 8 (e) of Article 338 of the Constitution to take evidence in any matter under investigation or inquiry and for this purpose appoint any person by an order in writing. The Commission may make further rules for payment of fee and traveling and other allowances to persons appointed to take evidence on commission.

7.2.(a) ix After holding the required sittings, the Member(s) who conducted the investigation shall make a report, which shall be sent to the enquiry officer appointed under Rule 34 or any other officer authorized by the Commission to receive the report. The report received in the Commission shall be submitted within 3 days to the Chairperson for inspections. After examination, action may be initiated on the report with the approval of the Chairperson.

7.2.(b) Investigation or inquiry by an Investigation Team constituted at the Headquarters of the Commission

7.2.(b) i The Commission may decide about the matter that is to be investigated or enquired into by an Investigating Team of officials of the Commission, provided that in case the matter is urgent, the decision for such investigation or inquiry may be taken by the Chairperson.

7.2.(b) ii The Investigating Team shall hold the investigation or inquiry, as the case may be, promptly and for this purpose, may initiate necessary correspondence including issuance of notices for production of documents in Form I, appended to these rules.

7.2.(b) iii The Investigating Team may visit the area concerned after observing due formalities for obtaining approval of tours and other administrative requirements and after giving information to the concerned local authorities regarding the matter, purpose, scope and procedure of the investigation or inquiry. The Investigating Team may enlist the help of the officers and staff of the concerned State Office but the responsibility of preparing and presenting the report shall rest with the head of the Investigating Team.

7.2.(b) iv The Investigating Team shall submit the report of the investigation or inquiry, as the case may be, to the Chairman/Secretary or a subordinate officer of the Commission as may be directed by general or specific orders by the Chairperson within the stipulated time, if any. If the time limit stipulated is likely to be exceeded, the head of the Investigating Team shall obtain the orders of the Chairperson through the Officer-in-charge of the matter. The report shall be examined and put up to the Chairperson for a decision regarding the action to be taken on the report.

7.2. (b) v The decision of the report shall be sent to the Secy Joint Secy/Officer-in-charge placed before the Chairperson of the Commission who will take appropriate action in the matter.

7.2 (c) Investigation and inquiry through the State Offices

7.2 (c) i The Chairperson, the Vice-chairperson, the Members having jurisdiction over the subject may decide about an investigation or inquiry that may be carried out through the State Offices of the Commission. The decision will be conveyed to the Officer-in-Charge of the concerned State Office who will be asked to get the matter investigated or inquired into within a stipulated time and send the report. The State Office shall conduct the investigation or inquiry through interrogation, on the spot visit, discussions and correspondence and examination of documents as may be necessary in the case and shall follow any special or general instructions issued in the matter by the Chairperson/ V.C./Member through the officials of the Commission from time to time.

7.2 (c)ii If the investigation or inquiry cannot be completed within the stipulated time, the officer-in-charge of the State Office may send a communication to the Secretariat of the Commission before the expiry of the stipulated time and explain the circumstances and reasons for non-completion of the investigation or inquiry, as the case may be, within the stipulated time. The Secretary to the Commission or the Member under delegated functions may consider the request and communicate a revised date after taking approval of the Chairperson for the completion of the investigation or inquiry.

7.2 (c)iii If during the course of investigation or inquiry, the Head of the State Office feels that it is necessary to invoke the powers of the Commission to require the production of any document or compelling the attendance of a person, he may make a special report with full facts to the Secretariat of the Commission. On receipt of such special report, the matter shall be placed before the Chairperson/Member in-charge of the subject/State/UT who may make an order that necessary legal processes to compel attendance or to require production of any document may be issued. The summons and warrants issued for the purpose may be served on the person concerned either directly or through the officer-in-charge of the State Office as may be directed by the Chairperson authorizing issue of such legal process.

7.2 (c)iv After completion of the investigation or inquiry, as the case may be, the head of the State Office shall submit the report to the Secretary of the Commission suggesting the course of action that could be followed in the matter. The gist or findings of the report may be placed before the Chairperson with specific proposals by the Secretary / Joint Secretary who may decide about further action in the matter.

7.2 (d) Investigation by the State Agencies

The Chairperson may decide about an investigation or inquiry that may be carried out through the State Agencies. The decision will be conveyed to the Chief Secretary /Officer-in-Charge of the concerned State/ State Agency (s) who will be asked to get the matter investigated or inquired into within a stipulated time and send the report.

7.2 (e) Investigation by any other institution/Deptt funded by Central Govt. and its statutory bodies.

7.3 PROCEDURE FOR INQUIRY

Inquiry into specific complaints

The Commission is required to inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of Scheduled Castes. In order to enable the Commission to perform this function effectively and efficiently, the Commission would like the members of Scheduled Castes to know that it will be helpful to inquire into their grievances if they substantiate their complaints with supporting documents and quote the relevant provisions of the Act or Rules or directions which have been violated.

7.4.1 The following aspect may be kept in mind while filing complaints before the Commission.

(a) The complaint should be directly addressed to the Chairman/Vice-Chairman/Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, New Delhi or the heads of its State Offices

.b) The complainants should disclose his full identity and give his full address and should sign the representation.

(c ) Complaints should be legibly written or typed and, where necessary, supported by authenticated documents.

(d) Complaints should clearly disclose the violation of Reservation policy, DOPT OMs, Government of India Orders, State Government Orders, PSUs and Autonomous Bodies orders or any other violation Rules of Reservation.

(e) No action will be taken on matters, which are subjudice. Hence subjudice matter need not be referred to the Commission as complaint(s).

(f) Cases pending in courts or cases in which a court has already given its final verdict may not be taken up afresh with the Commission.

(g) The cases of Administrative nature like transfer/posting/grading of ACRs will not be taken up by the Commission unless there is caste based harassment of petitioner.

(h) No action will be taken on the matters where there is no mention of violation of Reservation policy, DOPT OMs, Government of India Orders, State Government Orders, PSUs and Autonomous Bodies orders or any other violation of Rules of Reservation. Hence the matters where there is no mention of violation of above Rules need not be referred to the Commission as complaints.

7.5 Inquiry into cases of atrocities

7.5.1 Whenever information is received in the Commission about any incident of atrocity against a person belonging to Scheduled Castes, the Commission would immediately get in touch with the law enforcing and administrative machinery of the State and the district to ascertain the details of incident and the action taken by the district administration. If after detailed inquiry/investigation; the Commission finds substance in the allegation/complaint regarding atrocity, the Commission may recommend to file an FIR against the accused with the concerned law-enforcing agency of the State/District. In such cases, the State Government/District Administration/Police Personnel may be called with three days through the summons.

7.5.2 The Commission ensures the following while by monitoring and issuing instructions to the concerned authorities.

(i) Whether the scene of occurrence of the crime has been visited immediately by Collector and Supdt. of Police of the district on receipt of information.

(ii) Whether proper FIR is registered in local Police Station.

(iii) Whether names of all the persons involved/cited by the complainant has been included in the FIR.

(iv) Whether investigation has been taken up by a Senior Police Officer as per provisions of the SCs & STs (POA) Act, 1989.

(v) Whether culprits has been apprehended and booked without loss of time.

(vi) Whether proper charge sheet has been filed mentioning the relevant sections of IPC together with the PCR Act, 1955 and SCs & STs (POA) Act, 1989 in Court.

(vii) Whether the cases are tried by the Special Courts.

(viii) Whether special Public Prosecutors are appointed to handle these cases.

(ix) Whether Police assists the courts in bringing forward witnesses and see that the culprits are suitably punished by the courts.

7.5.3 The Commission will also monitor that

(i) the victims are provided with suitable medical assistance and on time;

(ii) adequate protection is arranged for the victims of such incidents by providing police protection by stationing a police party, by patrolling, etc;

(iii) to see that proper compensation is paid to the victims as per provisions of law.

7.5.4 The Commission will, wherever possible depending upon the gravity and circumstances of the case, visit the place of incident to oversee the arrangements and to console and infuse confidence among the victims.

7.5.4.1.1 The Commission may laid down detailed procedure for conducting such inquiries and monitoring at all levels. Such inquiries can be conduced by the Members of the Commission or Teams of Investigators from Headquarters or State office of the Commission or any other officer(s) / agency duly appointed authorized by the Chairman.

7.5.6 When any offence as is described as an atrocity in the relevant acts for the time being in force, is committed in the view or presence of the Commission or has been found to have been taken cognizance by the Commission, in pursuance of the enquiry/investigation conducted by it in the discharge of its functions, the Commission may, after recording the facts constituting the offence, forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same.

7.6 Confidentiality of certain reports

The Chairperson/Commission may, through a decision at a meeting or otherwise, direct that the contents of any report made on any matter shall be kept confidential and shall not be revealed to any person other than those who have been authorized access to such report.

7.7 Legal processes

All summons and warrants that are required to be issued in pursuance of the exercise of the powers of a civil court by the Commission shall be written in the prescribed form and shall bear the seal of the Commission. The legal process shall be issued from the Legal Cell of the Commission and shall bear its seal. The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure applicable for the service of the legal processes shall be followed by the Commission.

7.8 Issue of letters and notices

Letters and notices requiring production of documents which are issued without exercising the powers of the civil court by the Commission may be signed by an officer not below the rank of Research Officer/Section Officer/Senior Investigator.

7.9 Form of summons and warrants

The summons and warrants shall be as provided in Form II and III respectively, appended to these rules.

Source: Official Website of NCSC Last Updated on 18 - 04 - 2017

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