The Delhi High Court today sought response of the Centre on a plea seeking a time-frame for filling up vacancies in the National Commission for Minorities. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla issued the notice to the Ministry of Minority Affairs asking it to file a status report by August 11.
The petition, filed by lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, has asked for a direction to the Centre to appoint the chairperson, vice-chairperson and five members of the commission, saying it has become “defunct due to the inaction of the government”.
It has said “the inaction of the government in not appointing the members is arbitrary and unreasonable” and that it “frustrates” the spirit of the Constitution.
The first statutory National Commission for Minorities (NCM) was set up in 1993 and by a gazette notification, five religious communities – Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians – were notified as minorities, it said.
“In the absence of provisions of a time limit to fill up the vacancy in the commission, the appointment process takes a long time and the existence of full-fledged commission and its functioning gets severely affected,” the plea said.