State consultation on status of the implementation of SCs & STs PoA Act 1989 in Rajasthan
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, was enacted by the Parliament of India to prevent atrocities and hate crimes against the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The Act is popularly known as the SC/ST Act, PoA, or simply the ‘Atrocities Act’. Despite amendments in the PoA Act, in 2015, which established the rights of victims and witnesses along with institutional strengthening, the number of crimes has increased due to judicial and executive lapses and inadequate implementation of the SC/ST PoA Act. Thus, a state-level consultation on the status of the implementation of the SCs & STs PoA Act 1989 in Rajasthan, was organized on 2nd May 2023 at the Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur, Rajasthan. The consultation was carried out in 4 sessions.
The consultation was organized to know about the present status of the PoA Act in Rajasthan and to prepare a strategic action plan based on the findings of the study. It was also about how to incorporate the issues and findings of the study, given in the monitoring report, with the ongoing work. This report was presented in the form of a book, titled “Implementation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocity Act 1989 and Rules 1995”
The Consultation began with a brief introduction by Satish Kumar, Director, CDR (Centre for Dalit Rights). This was followed by the introduction of participants. The first session was the presentation of the findings of the report of the national study on the implementation of the SC/ST Act/PoA Act.
Bhanu Pratap representative Manuski and DHRDNet said that a joint national-level study was carried out by different organizations working on the issue of Dalit atrocities, in different states across India. He informed that during the study, several issues related to implementation and lack of awareness, not only among the victims but also among the implementing agencies were found. Thereby, making its implementation a big challenge. This study was conducted in Rajasthan.
Satish Kumar said that under the IPC, the rate of conviction is 45%, but the rate of conviction under this Act is not more than 10%. He apprised us that this Act is rather the world’s best Act to prevent atrocity and violence against the downtrodden and the marginalized people. The need is of working together of the administration/authorities and people for the effective implementation of this Act and to prevent atrocities, according to her.