Minority commission wants own probe unit

West Bengal Minority Commission has asked the state government to allow it to have its own investigation wing to probe complaints of people belonging to minority communities.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Justice (retired) Intaj Ali Shah, the chairperson of the commission, said: "We have written to the state government seeking an investigation wing of the commission's own similar to that of the West Bengal State Human Rights Commission. The complaints of the minorities, which come to us, can be probed in a proper manner if the commission has its own investigation wing."

Shah, who was nominated by Mamata Banerjee last year to head the panel that was instituted in mid-1990s, is of the opinion that its own investigating wing will help in disposal of cases. According to the 2011-12 annual report of the commission, it received 267 complaints out of which only 106 cases could be disposed of while the probe in the remaining 161 cases is on. "If the commission had a separate investigation wing, we could have disposed of many more cases," he said.

"For doing this, the West Bengal Minority Commission Act needs to be amended. Our proposal is aimed at protecting the rights of the minorities. The state government has made development of minorities as its focal point of activities. We hope that the state government would accept our recommendation," Shah added.

As per prevailing system, the commission after receiving a complaint seeks a report from the concerned departments regarding and then examines it. Later, it sends the departments' reports to the petitioner for comments. If the petitioner is not satisfied with the answers of the concerned departments, the commission holds hearings where all the parties involved in disputes place their views. Based on the hearings, commission sends recommendation to the government.

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