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Commissions In India
Commissions are generally statutory bodies of independent stature specifically appointed by the Government to address a specific issue generally, headed mostly by senior judiciaries, in some cases it can be a single man commission depending upon the particular purpose such commissions are constituted, upholding arbitration kind of powers, by making inquiries with all ends connected with the particular purpose, some getting quashed after the purpose is accomplished, while there could be many commissions continuing over a period of time, with specific terms of office defined for those who monitor those commissions.
In India there are popular commissions which are of permanent nature, only the Office holders of those commissions being changed term after term, such as, The Election Commission of India, The Finance commission of India, The Law Commission of India, etc, which have perennial role to play in respective areas of purpose.
Commissions being appointed for specific purpose of inquiry or investigation, they sometimes carry a mandate of defining concepts and principles, such as Mandal’s commission which was appointed for giving a virdict on the allocation of quota for educational opportunity to socially and educationally backward class of people, which became popular because of the controversies that arose with its findings.
Likewise, Sarkaria Commission was instituted by the Government of India, to examine and give mandate on the relationship and balance of power between the State and the Central Governments and to suggest changes in the Constitution of India, which was another popular commission in India.
When a commission is appointed, its functions and powers are clearly defined, for example the functions of a particular commission may include
- Evaluating the issues involved
- Monitoring the existing provisions without damage to the present practise while proceeding with the examination and investigation
- Making recommendations for the effective implementation for resolving the issues
- Commenting on specific observations made during the Evaluation which may help the Government to examine those areas further.
With regard to the powers of the Commission the Government may define
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining the concerned person on oath.
- Requiring one to dig out and production of any document.
- Obtaining evidence on affidavit.
- Asking for any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
- Issuing orders for the examination of witnesses and documents.
Commissions are appointed for various issues, including the inappropriate exercise of power by the Government in certain actions, where the Government itself is a party and the Citizen require justice on those issues, such as Commissions appointed for the questions raised by action taken by Anti-terrorism legislation or even Police encounter actions.