Plea to pass SC/ST Act Amendment Ordinance

An awareness seminar organised here on Saturday on ‘SC / ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance 2014’ has urged the Narendra Modi-led Central government to take immediate steps to pass it in both houses of Parliament without any change.

As the Ordinance will give more teeth to the existing Act, enacted with the prime objective of shielding Dalits from being targeted by the ‘oppressors,’ it was paramount to provide legal status to the already tabled Ordinance by passing it in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha before July 23, the awareness meeting held here said in a resolution.

The seminar also condemned a “malicious propaganda” being carried out by a few caste Hindu and anti-Dalit outfits and some political parties that the Act should be repealed as it was being misused.

The complaints of atrocities against Dalits and adivasis should be registered properly as first information reports and investigation in this connection be completed within two months.

The investigation report should be sent to the court as per provisions of the Amendment Ordinance.

Special courts should be set up in every district to try offences against Dalits and Adivasis without any delay and the trial be completed within 60 days. The district administration should organise seminars and workshops to create awareness of various provisions of the amendments among the public.

Infrastructure in Adi Dravida welfare schools should be augmented and students be given all welfare schemes without any delay.

The Union government should ensure the distribution of all welfare measures to Dalit Christians also, as recommended by Justice Ranganath Misra Committee, the resolutions read.

Srivalla Prasad, convener of National Coalition for Strengthening of SC / ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, said the Amendment Ordinance, made with the objective of strengthening the existing Act, was need of the hour as Dalit victims could not get speedy legal remedy whenever they were targeted.

V.A. Rameshnathan, general secretary, National Dalit Movement for Justice; M.A. Britto, Director, Vaan Muhil; S. Samuel Asir Raj, faculty member, Department of Sociology, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, and others spoke.

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