No meetings of SC, ST committees held in 25 States in 3 years

The panels are meant to monitor the implementation of SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

Updated - March 17, 2020 10:42 pm IST

Published - March 17, 2020 10:05 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Thawarchand Gehlot. File photo: Sandeep Saxena

Thawarchand Gehlot. File photo: Sandeep Saxena

The State-level committees meant to monitor the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 of 25 States and Union Territories had not met even once in three years — 2016, 2017 and 2018, according to information provided by the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry to Parliament on Tuesday.

Parliament proceedings as it happened on March 17, 2020

Replying to a question by DMK MP D. Ravikumar, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot told the Lok Sabha that the 1995 rules formed under the Act mandate the setting up of State and district-level vigilance and monitoring committees. The State-level committees, headed by the respective Chief Ministers, are supposed to meet twice a year, according to the rules.

25 States

However, the data provided to the Lower House showed that the State-level committees in 25 States and Union Territories — Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi and Lakshwadeep — had not held any meetings in the three years.

Also read | Govt. accused of neglecting SCs/STs panel order

In 2016, there were two meetings of the committee in Haryana and one each in Karnataka and West Bengal. The next year, in 2017, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry held one meeting each, while Haryana had two. In 2018, there was one meeting each in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Chandigarh and Puducherry, and two and three meetings in West Bengal and Gujarat respectively.

District committees

Similarly, the district-level committees mandated by the rules had held no meetings in three years in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshwadeep and Puducherry, the data showed.

The reply said the government had formed a committee chaired by the Social Justice Minister to review the implementation of the Act across the country. This committee had met 25 times so far.

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