19 May 2012

Prevention of Atrocities against the SCs and STs


The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (PoA Act) is implemented by the respective State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. With a view to ensure its effective implementation, following steps are taken by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment:-

(i) Central assistance is provided to States/Union Territories, inter-alia, for:- 

(a) strengthening the enforcement and judicial machinery,
(b) relief and rehabilitation of the affected persons, and 
(c) awareness generation.

(ii) Central Government has, by notification dated 23.12.2011, amended rules under the PoA Act and effected an increase -generally of 150% - in the minimum scale of relief for victims of various types of atrocities. 

(iii) A Committee constituted, in 2006, under the Chairpersonship of the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, has so far held seventeen meetings wherein implementation of the PoA Act in 24 States and 4 Union Territories has been reviewed. Important points emerging from the review are followed up with State Governments.

(iv) Offences under the PoA Act are reviewed, inter-alia, in the Conference of Ministers/Secretaries in charge of Social Justice /Welfare, organized by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment every year. 

(v) On the request of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Ministry of Home Affairs organized a one-day meeting of Ministers of Home and Social Justice/Welfare, Principal Secretaries of Home, and SC/ST Development Departments, and DGPs of States, on 17.04.2012, on curbing atrocities against SCs/STs.

(vi) The more heinous crimes reported in the media are followed up with the State Governments for effective action. 

(vii) Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, an autonomous organization under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, also implements a Scheme to provide relief to SC victims of heinous crimes.

(viii) Awareness generation about provisions of the Act. 

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has invited considered views of concerned Ministries, State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and concerned agencies regarding amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri D.Napoleon in a written reply to a question inRajya Sabha today.

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