‘The Bill provides for criminal action on officials guilty of diversion or failure to use of funds’

Action should be taken against officials, including the IAS officers, if they fail to allocate money for the welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people, said Karnataka Dalitha Sangarsha Samiti (Ambedkar Vadha) State Convenor Mavalli Shankar here on Sunday.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Shankar said the Karnataka Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, allocation and utilisation of Financial Resources) Bill, 2013, provides for criminal action on officials who are guilty of diversion or failure to use of funds meant for SC and ST welfare. “But the IAS officers have been kept out of it,” he said. Mr. Shankar said the organisation was demanding action against all officials.

“We will be writing to Governor regarding this flaw in the Bill.” The Bill passed in the Belgaum session of the State Legislative Assembly was awaiting assent of the Governor, he said.

Mr. Shankar said his organisation was carrying out awareness campaigns in all districts on the contents in the draft Anti Superstition Bill presented by the National Law School of India University to the State Government. Mr. Shankar said there was lot of misconceptions about the draft. “The draft Bill was aimed at stopping practices that hurts human dignity. We are against blind beliefs and not against visits to temple and staging of Yakshagana as some people have made out.” Mr. Shankar is one of the persons involved in preparing the draft.

Mr. Shankar said they had carried out campaigns in Mandya, Belgaum and Bangalore (rural), and would be done in rest of the districts.

He said his organisation was continuing its fight to reclaim the DC (depressed class) land, which is now with capitalists. “We have appraised Revenue Minister Shrinivas Prasad about the issue. We are waiting for a call from him for a meeting,” he said.

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