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The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956

An Act no. 63 of the year 1956 i.e. ‘The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956’ being the Act of Central Government has received the assent of President of India on September 25th, 1956. The Act was provided with the intent to include and exclude certain Castes and Tribes in and from the List of Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribes.

The important provision under this Act is Section 3, where provisions of Scheduled Castes Orders i.e. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) (Part C States) Order, 1951 are amended in the specified manner and extent as per Schedule-I and Schedule-II appended to the Act, respectively. Similarly, the section 4 is also important, as it is providing for amendment the provisions of Scheduled Tribes orders viz. The Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 and The Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) (Part C States) Order, 1951, in the specified manner and extent as has been provided under third and fourth Schedules annexed to this Act.

The population of the Communities i.e. Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes are to be determined as per section 5 of the Act. It is contemplated in this provision that on the variation as has been brought in the list of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the States concerned, the population of the Scheduled Castes or of Scheduled Tribes in such States should be ascertain or determined by the authority namely, Census Authority i.e. The Deputy Registrar General of India. Such result thereof should be notified in the official Gazette by that Census Authority, as per section.  However, the States in which the re-determination of the Scheduled Castes or Tribes’ Population has already been made in pursuance with the section 42 of the Act no. 37 of 1956 i.e. the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, or section 15 of the Act no. 40 of 1956 i.e. the Bihar and West Bengal (Transfer of Territories) Act, 1956, the determination which is required under this Act, need not be done by Census Authority. And the figure of Population notified by the Census Authority under this Section should be taken to be relevant as ascertained in the last census and should supersede previously published figures.

Section 6 is essential in so far as it is in relation to amending the orders of the former Delimitation Commission. It is given that, the Delimitation Commission which is constituted under the Act of 1956 i.e. the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, under its Section 43, should be bound by the duty specified under this provision in addition to the duties imposed on such Commission under section 44 of that Act of 1956. Such duties include the re determination of number of seats which are to be kept reserved for the person belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities of the State for which the population figure was determined and notified within the provisions of this Act. Such determination of seats is to be made by that Commission in respect of their representation in the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly, if any, of the concerned State. And also such determination is to be made after taking into consideration the relevant provisions contained under Constitution of India and the said Act of 1956. Similarly, the another duty imposed on Commission under this Act, is in relation to re-determination of the number of reserved seats from any Class from any State, which is found varied from the fixed numbers in Final Order No. 1 which was made by the Former Delimitation Commission for amending any order of Commission within the provisions of Act no. 81 of 1952 under Section 8 thereof, as is necessary for providing proper representation to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.

Lastly, the section 7 of the Act empowers the Central Government to make rules for the purpose to carry out the object and purpose of this Act and all such rules to be tabled before each Houses of Parliament, whilst is in session for the prescribed period and as per provisions of section 7(2) of the Act.

Further amendments in the Orders i.e. The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Orders, have been made in the year 1976 and 2002. The Amending Act of 1976 was to provide to include and exclude from the lists of such Scheduled Castes and Tribes, certain Castes and Tribes. And the Amending Act of 2002 also provides for such inclusion and exclusion of castes and tribes, in the view of changing social values.

by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.