The SC/ST commission does not have the power to run the government. withhold grants to educational institutions: HC


The Karnataka High Court has said that the Karnataka State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes does not have the legal power to order the state government to suspend grants to educational institutions.

Justice MI Arun passed the order while allowing a petition filed by the Sri Vasavi Education Society, Hosapete, questioning the legality of the commission’s directive to withhold grants to the petitioning institution.

In September 2021, the commission ordered the government to suspend the grants as an interim order on a complaint filed by H. Hanumantha, who belongs to the SC community and worked as a principal in a school run by the company.

The school had initiated disciplinary proceedings against him for alleged misconduct and had demoted him to the post of teacher after the proceedings.

Although Mr Hanumantha did not question the legality of the disciplinary measure before the competent authority, he had approached the commission alleging discrimination against him because of caste, the court noted from files.

Meanwhile, the court pointed out that the provisions of the Karnataka State Commission for the SC and ST Act of 2002 do not authorize the commission to issue such an instruction to the government.

“Even in the opposite case, if the commission comes to the conclusion that the requesting institution has discriminated against the complainant teacher because he belongs to the SC category, it can only make a suggestion by seizing the competent authorities and cannot not issue a direction as issued in this case,” the court clarified.

The tribunal also noted that the commission’s order to suspend the grants was issued without even investigating whether the requesting institution had discriminated against the complainant because he was in the SC category.

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