The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, providing for setting up of a National Commission for Backward Classes, was recently passed by the Rajya Sabha. The Bill was passed after dropping Clause 3.
Clause 3 pertains to the insertion of a new article 338B about the constitution and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes.
The bill is meant to upgrade the Backward Classes Commission from a statutory body to a constitutional body, which will give it powers equal to a court to summon people and inquire into incidents of violence and discrimination against backward classes.
The amended bill will now have to be returned to the Lok Sabha for its fresh approval. The Lower House had already passed the bill but in the Upper House, it had been referred to a Select Committee as the Opposition had wanted more scrutiny. The Constituent amendment bill’s passage requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.