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Twenty seventh meeting held of committee constituted for effective coordination to devise ways and means to curb offences of untouchability and atrocities against SCs and STs

Twenty seventh meeting held of committee constituted for effective coordination to devise ways and means to curb offences of untouchability and atrocities against SCs and STs

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The 27th meeting of the Committee took place at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi today under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. The Principal Secretaries/Secretaries of the SC/ST Development/Welfare Department and the Home Department of all the States/UTs attended the meeting.

 

In the meeting, charge sheet filing rate in the court, pendency of cases in courts, setting up of exclusive special courts, meeting of Vigilance & Monitoring Committees, action plan to do away with shortcomings in implementation of the PCR and PoA Acts etc was reviewed. It was noted that during 2021-22, about 24,062 Inter-Caste marriage couples have been provided incentives and Central Assistance of Rs. 610.11 Crores has been released to the States/UTs. The Committee reaffirmed the resolution of the Government to provide dignity to all the vulnerable sections of the society.

 

A committee under the Chairpersonship of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment along with the members from Ministry of Home Affairs, Tribal Affairs, Law and Justice, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and three non-official members (two amongst SCs and one amongst STs), was set up in the year 2006 on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, to devise ways and means to curb offences of atrocities and ensure effective administration Acts of Parliament namely the Protection of Civil Rights{PCR} Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities){PoA} Act, 1989.

 

In 2016, important amendments made in the SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989, the amendments are addition of new offences, establishment of exclusive special courts and specification of exclusive special public prosecutors to exclusively try the offences under the Act to enable expeditious disposal of cases, power of special courts and exclusive special courts to take direct cognizance of offence and a new chapter on the ‘Rights of Victims and Witnesses’. During 2018, further important amendment was made in the SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989 after which it is no longer required to conduct preliminary enquiry before registration of a First Information Report (FIR), seeking approval of any authority prior to arrest of an accused.

Similarly, during 2016 and 2018, important amendments has been made in SC/ST (PoA) Rules, 1995, the changes are relief amount for 47 offences of atrocities from earlier 22 offences, enhancement of relief amount between Rs. 85,000/- and Rs. 8,25,000/- depending upon the nature of the offence, providing of first installment of relief within seven days, completion of investigation and filing of charge sheet within sixty days to enable timely commencement of prosecution, providing relief in case of death, injury, rape, gang rape, unnatural offences, grievous hurt by throwing acid etc., damage to property, in addition to any other right to claim compensation in respect thereof under any other law.

 

 

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