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1989-SC&ST ACT

1989-SC&ST ACT

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Published by M C Raj
This is the Act that prevents atrocities on the untouchable people of India. This Act was brought because the Constitution of India did not stop untouchability. Even this Act has not stopped atrocities on Dalits.
This is the Act that prevents atrocities on the untouchable people of India. This Act was brought because the Constitution of India did not stop untouchability. Even this Act has not stopped atrocities on Dalits.

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Published by: M C Raj on Jan 04, 2010
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04/28/2013

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m c raj
Introduction
In a stunning acknowledgement of the prevalence of widespread denial of Human rights and dignity to the Dalits Mr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India made the following remarks on 28 December 2006. “Even after 60 yearsof constitutional and legal protection and support, there is still socialdiscrimination against Dalits in many parts of our country. Dalits have faced aunique discrimination in our society that is fundamentally different from theproblems of minority groups in general. The only parallel to the practice of untouchability was apartheid”.We are helplessly aware of the social-economic imbalance that prevails in thiscountry before and after independence.It is evident from the Prime Minister’s Speech that the Constitutional legalprovisions are made to protect the Dalits from discrimination. Yet, there is atrocityin all walks of life on the Dalit people. This would imply two possible realities:
Reality No.1
The social forces in this country (read caste forces) are more powerful than therule of law.
Reality No 2
The rule of law is taken control of by the dominant social forces.It is in this context that the purpose behind the several government programmesfor the development of the Dalits should be understood. Sensitization in thiscontext would mean ensuring of speedy delivery and justice to the Dalit under thevarious Government programmes.
I. Instruments of Dalit Protection
1.Setting up of the National Commission for SC/STs under Article 338 of theConstitution of India2.Setting up of State Commissions for SC/ST3.The Protection of Civil Right Act, Act 22 of 1955
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4.Karnataka SC/ST PTCL Act of 19785.SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 19896.SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (Rules 0f 1995)
II. SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989
Punishable Offenses Under the Act
i.Socio-Cultural Offenses
1.Forcing Dalits to either eat or drink any inedible or obnoxious substance.E.g. Bendigeri2.Dumping excreta, waste matter, carcasses in the Dalit area with anintention to cause injury, insult or annoyance to the Dalits. (This is a bittricky and needs a lot of sensitization for justice. It is difficult to prove theintention in a court of law. It also gives a loose end to the police to easilyescape saying that there was no intention).3.Forceful removal of clothes from body, naked parading or painting the faceor body etc.4.Intentional insult or intimidation to humiliate a Dalit in any public placewithin public view.5.Assault or use of force against any Dalit woman with an intention todishonor or outrage her modesty6.Being in a position to dominate over the will of a Dalit woman and makinguse of that position to exploit her sexually to which she would not haveotherwise agreed.7.Corrupting or fouling the water of any spring, reservoir or any other sourceordinarily used by Dalits so as render it useless for the purpose for which itis meant.
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8.Denial of the customary right of passage to a place of public resort or obstructing Dalits from using public places.9.Forcing or causing a Dalit to leave his house, village or other place of residence.
ii. Economic Offense
1.Wrongfully occupying or cultivating any land owned by or allotted to, or notified by any competent authority to be allotted to a Dalit or getting theland allotted to a Dalit transferred2.Wrongfully dispossessing a member of the Dalit Community of his land or premises or interfering with the enjoyment of his right over any land,premises or water.
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Compelling or enticing a member of the Dalit community to do ‘begging’ or other similar forms of forced or bonded labor other than any public serviceimposed by the Government.4.Committing mischief by fire or any explosive substance with theknowledge that it would cause damage to any property belonging to theSC/ST5.Committing mischief by fire or any explosive substance with theknowledge that it would cause destruction or any building which isordinarily used as a place of worship or as a place for human dwelling or as a place for custody of the property of a Dalit.
iii. Political Offense
Forcing or intimidating a member of the Dalit community not to vote or tovote to a particular candidate or to vote in a manner other than thatprovided by law.
iv. Judicial Offense
1.Instituting false, malicious or vexatious suit or criminal or other legalproceedings against a member of SC/ST2.Giving any false or frivolous information to any public servant and therebycausing such public servant to use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of a Dalit.
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