New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously passed the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill 2017, which provides constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.

The Upper House adopted the amendments made by the Lok Sabha with 156 votes in support and none against. Last week, the bill was unanimously passed by the Lok Sabha with 406 votes in its favour. The bill had been passed by the Rajya Sabha on 31 July and sent to the Lok Sabha.

The commission will not encroach upon the rights of the state government as they have their own commissions, social justice and empowerment minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said, while moving the bill for consideration and passing. “This is an important issue. There was a demand for constitutional status to the OBC commission since the 1980s and Parliament had held discussions several times," he said.

Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha on Monday also passed the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment bill, 2018, which looks to amend the Act after the Supreme Court laid down certain safeguards in the law to prevent atrocities against SCs and STs.

PTI contributed to this story.

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