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Dilution of SCs/STs Act

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The National Coalition for Strengthening Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (NCSPA)—a platform of more than 500 Dalit and Adivasi civil society organisations, communities, leaders and activists —expresses serious concern over the Supreme Court judgment that diluted provisions related to anticipatory bail and immediate arrest, under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The ruling dilutes the very purpose of the progressive legislation, meant to protect the marginalised communities from caste-based atrocities and discrimination. The judgment, dated 20 March 2018, has not looked at the reasons for the high number of increase in atrocities against Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), the low conviction and high acquittal rates, and has not analysed the reasons for the same. Some of the well-known hurdles in this regard are shoddy investigation, incorrect and biased recording of victim and witness statements during investigation, filing of improper charge sheets, and undue delay in filing of charge sheets. Other hurdles include inappropriate support mechanisms available to the victims and witnesses by the investigating officers and public prosecutors, and even by the trial court.

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Updated On : 23rd Mar, 2018

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