Functions of the Commission
- To investigate & Monitor matters relating to safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws or under Government order, to evaluate the working of such safeguards.
- To inquire into specific complaints relating to Rights and Safeguards of STs.
- To participate and advise in the Planning Process relating to Socio-economic development of STs, and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.
- To submit report to the President annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, upon/ working of Safeguards, Measures required for effective implementation of Programmers/ Schemes relating to Welfare and Socio-economic development of STs.
- To discharge such other functions in relation to STs as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
- The Commission would also discharge the following other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development & advancement of the Scheduled Tribes, namely:-
- Measures that need to be taken over conferring ownership rights in respect of minor forest produce to the Scheduled Tribes living in forest areas
- Measures to be taken to safeguard rights to the Tribal Communities over mineral resources, water resources etc. as per law.
- Measures to be taken for the development of tribals and to work for move viable livelihood strategies.
- Measures to be taken to improve the efficacy of relief and rehabilitation measures for tribal groups displaced by development projects.
- Measures to be taken to prevent alienation of tribal people from land and to effectively rehabilitate such people in whose case alienation has already taken place.
- Measures to be taken to elicit maximum cooperation and involvement of Tribal Communities for protecting forests and undertaking social afforestation.
- Measures to be taken to ensure full implementation of the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (40 of 1996).
- Measures to be taken to reduce and ultimately eliminate the practice of shifting cultivation by tribals that lead to their continuous disempowerment and degradation of land and the environment.
Powers of the Commission
- For Investigation and Inquiry, the Commission is vested with powers of a civil court having authority to:
- Summon and enforce attendance of any person and examine on oath.
- Discovery & production of any documents.
- Receive evidence on affidavits.
- Requisition any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
- Issue Commissions for examination of witnesses and documents.
- Any matter which President, by rule, may determine.
The Commission presents an annual report to the President. It can also submit a report as and when it thinks necessary.
The President places all such reports before the Parliament, along with a memorandum explaining the action taken on the recommendations made by the Commission.
The memorandum should also contain the reasons for the non-acceptance of any of such recommendations.
The President also forwards any report of the Commission pertaining to a state government to the state Governor.
The Governor places it before the state legislature, along with a memorandum explaining the action taken on the recommendations of the Commission. The memorandum should also contain the reasons for the non-acceptance of any of such recommendations.