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Statutory Bodies and Corporations

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What are Statutory Bodies and Corporations?

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Statutory body meaning is a body of the government established through an Act which oversees a particular matter. Corporations refer to capitalistic enterprises established to extend a particular commodity, i.e., good or service, to its customers. When talking about government and corporations, here, we are referring to public corporations or public sector enterprises in particular. Let us go into some more details about these two bodies which fall under the government of a country and its functionaries.

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Statutory Body Meaning

A statutory body is an important body of the government which is enabled with the right to pass certain laws on behalf of the government pertaining to certain areas of government. For example, the National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body in India which focuses on the subject of providing equality for women and is authorised to pass laws in favour of this subject. We will also be looking at a long list of statutory bodies in India below.

A statutory body is formed through an Act passed by the Parliament or by the State Legislature. A note to remember here is that a statutory body while being highly necessary to governance, is not a constitutional body. A statutory body is set up by the Parliament itself, and each statutory body focuses on a single subject matter.

Statutory Bodies in India

The following is a list of the most prominent statutory bodies in India which play an important role in the functioning of the government in terms of its purpose of appropriate representation of the people in its country. This will help make clearer what is a statutory body in India.

  1. National Human Rights Commission

Established in 1993, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was established under the statute of the Protection of Human Rights Act in the same year. This statutory body of India works towards protecting and promoting the basic human rights, i.e. the right to life, liberty, equality and dignity of all individuals in India.

  1. National Commission for Women (NCW)

The rights of women have been continually denied to them from the beginning, thus the National Commission for Women was established through the National Commission for Women Act in 1990 to battle this. This statutory body seeks to enable all women of India with the dignity, equality and empowerment that they deserve, by seeking to fight the problems that arise due to the discrimination and atrocities committed against women.

  1. National Commission for Minorities (NCM)

Minorities in India consist of the religious minorities, i.e. Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Zoroastrians (among others), and also socio-economic minorities who are granted Scheduled Tribe/Scheduled Caste status. The NCM, established in 1992, is a statutory organisation which seeks to safeguard and protect the interests of these minorities with the help of rightful policies, regulations and laws.

  1. Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT)

A tribunal is a small-time court of law established for a specific purpose. The Armed Forces Tribunal is a statutory authority which was established in 2007. It is the statutory body which is solely to resolve disputes within the armed forces, i.e. the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Army in the matters pertaining to the various armed forces-related Acts by the Indian government.

  1. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)

This is a body of the government of India which upholds citizens’ consumer rights. This body lists the rights of a consumer with the promise to uphold them in the case where they have been violated. While upholding consumer rights, the NCDRC also aims to spread awareness about the same among the public.

Public Corporations in India

A corporation is a company or group of companies which is owned by the list of its shareholders. A public corporation, which is what we are talking about here, is a corporation which is owned and operated by the government while holding the same powers as that of a private enterprise. They are also called public sector enterprises and are statutory organisations under the ownership of the government.

The essential difference between private and public corporations is that private company shares are held by private shareholders and public shares are traded in the stock market to raise more capital.

Here is a list of some public corporation statutory organisations in India:

  1. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC)

  2. Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

  3. Air India Corporation

  4. Food Corporation of India (FCI)

  5. State Bank of India (SBI)

  6. Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC)

  7. Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC)

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is a Statutory Body in India?

Ans: A statutory body in India refers to a body under the government of India which functions in pertinence to a particular matter at hand. It is established through Acts passed by the Parliament and is highly necessary for a wholesome functioning of the government. Each statutory authority under the government is provided with the authority to pass laws on the matter for which the body was formed. Some examples of statutory bodies in India are the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Women, among others.

Q2. What is the difference between a Statutory Body vs Constitutional Body?

Ans: While it is easy to get confused, there is a clear difference between statutory and constitutional body. Constitutional bodies refer to committees which are formed by making an amendment to the Constitution, whereas statutory bodies in India are established by passing a law for the same. Constitutional bodies are required to assist the government in its functioning, while statutory bodies in India are responsible for upholding and enforcing legislation in the country. However, while they are different from each other, they are both highly essential to the most effective functioning of the government.