Skip to main content

Supreme Court ruling "fails" to take into account sharp rise in atrocities against SCs -STs, low conviction rate: NCSPA

By Our Representative
Strongly reacting to the Supreme Court judgment that the anti-atrocities law has become an instrument to “blackmail” innocent citizens and public servants, the National Coalition for Strengthening SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities or PoA) Act () has said that it would dilute "provisions related to anticipatory bail and immediate arrest under the SCs and STs (PoA) Act 1989" as also it's 2016 amendments.
A platform of more than 500 Dalits and Adivasi rights bodies, NCSPA said, "The ruling dilutes the very purpose of the progressive legislation, a legislation meant to protect the marginalized communities from caste based atrocities and discrimination."
Ironically, two years ago, one of the world’s top advocacy groups, Human Rights Watch (HRW), criticized the anti-atrocities law for using want it called “vague and over broad language, expanding restrictions on speech". It particularly raised “concerns over potential misuse", adding, the amendment in 2016 amendments "are problematic from the perspective of freedom of expression.” It is not known if NCSPA objected the HRW view.
HRW said, under Section 3 (1), the amended law bans any expression that “promotes or attempts to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against members of the SC or the ST” and also any expression that “disrespects any late person held in high esteem by members of SC or ST.” It added, “Disrespectful speech, or expression that promotes negative feelings, however offensive, is not the same as incitement to acts of hostility, discrimination, or violence..."
In its critique of the apex court judgment, NCSPA said, "It is surprising to note that the apex court in its judgment failed to recognize increase in atrocities against Scheduled Castes by 5.5% in 2016 (40,801) over 2015 (38,670) and increase atrocities against Scheduled Tribes by 4.7% in 2016 (6,568) over 2015 (6,276)."
Noting that the apex court also failed to recognize the low disposal rate by courts in the recent years, NCSPA said in its statement, signed by its convener Dr VA Ramesh Nathan, said that total of 1,44,979 cases of atrocities against SCs and 23,408 cases of atrocities against STs came for trial, and out of these in only 14,615 cases, trials were completed for the cases against SCs and 2,895 cases for STs."
" At the end of the year 89.6 % of cases for SCs and 87.1% for STs remained pending trial", NCSPA said, adding, "The apex court, instead of recognizing the low conviction, 25.7% for SCs and 20.8% for STs for the year 2016, and high acquittal at 74.2% for SCs and 79.2% for STs, made its observation on the basis of a small number of cases which found to be false -- 5347 for SCs and 912 for STs..."
NCSPA said, the judgment has also not sought to analyzed such factors like "shoddy investigation, incorrect and biased recording of victims and witnesses statements during investigation, filing of improper chargesheet and undue delay in filing charge sheets, inappropriate support mechanisms to the victims and witnesses by the investigating officers and public prosecutors and, as a whole, by the trial court."
Pointing out that "there are hardly cases where the public servants have been convicted under Section 4 of the anti-atrocities law for the willful neglect of their duties to be performed under the PoA Act", NCSPA said, "We are anguished to note that the highest body of judiciary has totally failed to recognize the overall non-implementation of SCs and STs (PoA) Act."

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

Withdraw sedition charges against three young women activists: 1100 feminists

Counterview Desk
About 1,100 feminists from all over India – organisations and individuals across religion, class, caste, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and genders – have issued a solidarity statement condemning what they have called “the targeted crackdown on Muslims and women activists in Delhi”, who were at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

Tablighis or Namaste Trump? Rupani must 'clarify' on origin of Covid-19 in Gujarat

By Mujahid Nafees* In his video communication on April 24, 2020, chief minister Vijay Rupani informed us that in the month of March the Gujarat government had quarantined 6,000 people returning from abroad in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. He further asserted that the spread of Covid-19 was caused by the tablighis returning from Nizamuddin in Delhi. His statements were widely publicized and given front page coverage by some local dailies.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”