Home / Politics / Policy /  Supreme Court pushes for implementation of Bezbaruah panel report

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the government to start implementing the two-year-old Bezbaruah committee report on tackling racism against people from north-eastern states.

A bench comprising chief justice T.S. Thakur and justices D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao also asked the centre to form a nodal agency to look into grievances of the north-eastern community.

The court’s order comes nearly two years after the government accepted the recommendations of the M.K. Bezbaruah committee. Derogatory remarks against people from north-eastern states will be made a punishable offence, the government had said in proposals that are yet to take effect.

“Implementation status of the recommendations made by the committee is being reviewed periodically and the last review meeting was held on 12 May," minister state for home Kiren Rijiju told the parliament 6 December. He added that the government does not maintain any data on the incidence of racial discrimination and racial attacks.

The government has been mulling introduction of Sections 153C (imputations or assertions prejudicial to human dignity) and 509A (word, gesture or act intended to insult a member of a particular racial group) to the IPC. These offences are likely to be non-bailable and could be punishable by up to five years in jail.

The apex court’s order came in a 2014 public interest litigation filed by Karma Dorjee after a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh was killed in an alleged racial attack in Delhi.

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