1) What does the term “backward classes” mean?

The term “backward classes”  is defined to mean such backward classes of citizens, other than the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, as are specified by the Government as ‘other backward classes’ in the list.

2) What does the term “list” mean?

The term “list” means the list of ‘other backward classes’ declared as such by the Government from time to time for the purposes of making provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of backward classes of citizens which, in the opinion of the Government, are not adequately represented in the services under the Government and any local or other authority within the state or under the control of the Government.

3) What are the functions of the Commission?

Sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the KSCBC Act empowers the Commission to examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as Backward Class in the lists of backward classes and to hear complaints of over inclusion or under inclusion of any Backward Classes in such lists and to tender such advice to the Government as it deems appropriate.

Section 5 of the Kerala State Backward Classes (Reservation of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1995 [1] gives the additional function of evaluating from time to time, the degree of backwardness of the Backward Classes, and submitting of periodical reports to the Legislative Assembly of the State.

4) What are the powers of the Commission?

As per Section 10 of the KSCBC Act, the Commission shall, while performing its functions under sub-section (1) of Section 9 have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit.

5) What is the procedure to register petitions/ representations?

Every representation received in the office of the Commission shall be initialled by the Registrar/Assistant Registrar and the same shall be entered in the Distribution Register by the Clerical Assistant after affixing the date seal and assigning the inward number. After that the same shall be handed over to the Assistant who is in charge of representations. After an entry is made in the personal Register the representation shall be submitted to the Member-Secretary through the Court Officer and the Registrar/Assistant Registrar within three days of receipt with a brief note stating whether or nor the representation will come within the purview of the functions of the Commission. The Member-Secretary shall scrutinise it and if he is statisfied that the reprsentation is with in the purview of the Commission, he shall direct the office to register the representation in a Register in Form A maintained by the Court Officer for that purpose and to place the same before the Commission in the next meeting.

6) Will any acknowledgement be given to the petitioner?

As soon as a representation is registered in Form A the Member-Secretary or any other officer of the Commission empowered in that behalf by the Member-Secretary shall send to the petitioner an acknowledgement in Form Cinforming him that the representation has been registered and further action is being taken thereon.

7) What to do if there is any defect in the petition/representation?

If the Member-Secretary finds that the representation is defective in any manner he shall postpone the registration of the representation and inform the party in Form B. Provided that if the representation is clearly one that does not come within the purview of the Commission the Member-Secretary shall dispose of the same in such manner as he may deem fit.

8) What is the procedure after registration?

After the registration an order sheet/proceedings paper shall be attached to the representation in which further steps like adjournments, orders of the Commission and actions to be taken by the office shall be recorded. A posting book in Form D shall be maintained by the Court Officer for entering the details of the adjournment and other steps. The Commission shall cause a notice to be issued to the petitioners/respondent as the case may be in Form E requiring him to appear before the Commission on such date as may be indicated in the notice, to give or adduce evidence on his representation. The Commission shall mutatis mutandis follow the procedure prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure and Civil Rules of Practice for trying a suit as empowered by section 10 of the Act. The Commission may summon such other person or persons as may be found necessary to tender evidence or to produce any document before it. The Commission may obtain such other information or evidence as may be considered necessary through surveys or otherwise in addition to the evidence obtained during the hearing. After due consideration of the evidence the Commission shall tender its advice to Government.

9) Is the advice of the Commission binding upon Government?

As per sub-section (2) of the Section 9 of the KSCBC Act , the advice of the Commission shall ordinarily be binding upon the Government.