NATIONAL

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

Thawarchand Gehlot

Thawarchand Gehlot  

They were meant to monitor SC-ST Act implementation

The State-level committees of 25 States and Union Territories, meant to monitor the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, 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.

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 mandated 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.

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 meeting in the three years.

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.

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.

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