Friday, March 22, 2013

Amendment to SC and ST (POA) Act

The Act is implemented by respective State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. With a view to ensure its effective implementation, following steps are taken by the Ministry:-

(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 twenty meetings wherein implementation of the 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 every year.

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

(vi) Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, an autonomous organization under this Ministry, also implements a Scheme to provide relief to SC victims of heinous crimes.

(vii) Awareness generation about the provisions of the Act.

The Ministry had invited considered views of concerned Ministries, State Government/Union Territory Administrations and concerned agencies regarding amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities){PoA} Act, 1989. A Committee under the Chairpersonship of Additional Secretary in the Ministry with members from concerned Central Ministries/State Governments had been constituted in August, 2012, for further considering the matter. The Committee held three meetings, and submitted its report after third meeting on 15.03.2013. Besides it, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment held consultation meetings with concerned Ministers of State Governments, and eminent persons on 20.02.2013 and 14.03.2013, respectively. The Government has, thus, commenced the process to consider amendments in the PoA Act.


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