Special Correspondent

“Administration did not provide information”

Police flayed for not completing probe within given time

CHENNAI: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Thursday criticised the Tamil Nadu government for high pendency of cases and low conviction rate under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.

Vice-Chairman of the Commission N.M. Kamble, who along with Member of the Commission Mahendra Boddh, conducted a State-level review meeting with Adi-Dravidar Welfare Minister Tamilarasi and senior officials of the government, pulled up the Police department for not completing investigation within the stipulated timeframe in many cases.

He told reporters that that in the absence of details on the grounds under which acquittal was done, the panel was in no position to say who was at fault. Mr. Boddh gave year-wise break-up of the pending cases, disposal of cases and conviction.

Mr. Kamble, former Congress Rajya Sabha MP and Maharashtra Minister, said the administration did not provide the Commission information, district-wise and ward-wise, on various welfare schemes for the SCs. No details on the representation of SCs in important departments such as police and education were furnished. There was no liaison officer, whose rank was not less than deputy secretary, to act as the link between the government and SC government employees.

He also found fault with the government in respect of not retrieving from other communities lands assigned to the SCs. There were nearly 8,000 such cases. Pointing out that other States provided district-wise information on various parameters, he said Chief Secretary [K.S. Sripathi] had assured the panel of furnishing the requisite information within a month.

Asked which State was doing good work in the Commission’s assessment, the Vice-Chairman replied that no State was performing up to the satisfaction of the panel.

“Unconstitutional”

When asked for the reaction to the State government’s initiative of providing three per cent reservation to Arunthathiars within the overall quota of SCs, Mr. Kamble described it as “unconstitutional.” The move could be challenged in a court. The government should have consulted the Commission before coming out with any such legislation.

He said the Commission had covered almost three-fourths of the country. It was yet to visit Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal.

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