Strictly enforce SC & ST Act, orders police headquarters
According to 2011 Census, the population of scheduled castes in Maharashtra is 1.32 crore and of scheduled tribes is 1.05 crore. As per the CID’s Crime In Maharashtra 2015 report, there were 1,816 cases of crimes against scheduled castes in 2015 as compared to 1,768 in 2014, which is an increase of 2.71 per cent. As compared to the figure of 2010, there is a significant increase by 60.42 per cent during 2015. The conviction rate of crime against scheduled castes in 2014 was 7.53 per cent while in 2015, it was 4.1 per cent. Similarly, the conviction rate of crime against scheduled tribes was 6 per cent in 2014, which dropped to 2.3 per cent in 2015.
Pune: After being reprimanded by the Supreme Court (SC) over the leniency in registering cases of attacks on Dalits, the Maharashtra police headquarters has instructed all police units in the State to strictly enforce provisions of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) (prevention of atrocity) Act.
Special Inspector General of Police (protection of civil rights) Mohammad Quaiser Khalid wrote a letter to all police unit commanders last month to ‘enforce provisions of the law strictly with its true spirit.’
In order to deal effectively with atrocities on members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, a special cell known as Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) cell had been set up by the Maharashtra government since 1977 at the State police headquarters in the office of the Director General of Police (DGP), Mumbai. It oversees implementation of the PCR Act and SC and ST Act in the State and also supervises the work of various PCR cells at a range and district levels, which are headed by Superintendents of Police (SP).
In December last year, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and state governments to strictly enforce provisions of the law while asking other competent authorities to discharge their duties to protect the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to attain the constitutional goal of equality for all citizens.
The apex court delivered the judgement after holding that there has been a failure on the part of authorities concerned in complying with the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The verdict was passed on a petition filed by National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, which was aggrieved by the ‘non-implementation’ of the provisions of the Act and had sought directions for forthwith setting up special officers, nodal officers and protection cell as required under the Act.
It had also sought directions for competent authorities to identify and notify atrocity-prone areas and to immediately take appropriate action and also to frame a rehabilitation policy.