Dalit Sthree Sakthi in association with NDMJ has conducted a Legal Clinic on 25th August at Conference Hall, Social Service Centre, Vijayawada. Victims and witness of 25 atrocity cases across the state participated in the Legal Clinic and presented their agony. The concerned official’s SriByra Rama Koteswara Rao Director of Prosecutions, Raja Kumari IPS, DCP Crimes, Moka Satti Babu Additional SP, Ravi from PCR Cell, Advocates, HRDs and leaders of Various associations have participated.
Daniel Vijay Prakash of DSShas detailed about the objective of the legal clinic. He said the focus will be on the penal and pecuniary interventions in specific to the cases and on the implementation of the SC, ST PoA Amended Act, the role of various stake holders and as mentioned below:
25 cases have been selected, thorough documentation was done case wise, the gaps and present status of the case have been stated
Advocates from respective districts have been identified to render necessary assistance to the victims and witnesses.
Linking up victims, witnesses, HRDs, advocates and line departments
Appointment of SPPs as per the choice of victims
Payment of compensation, rehabilitation, TA,DA etc.
Speedy investigation and trial.
JhansiGeddam Convener of DSSexplaining about the objective of Legal Clinic said that every year DSS organizes Round Table Conference or Public Hearing and present the victims and witnesses of 20 to 30 cases before the jury constituted with Social Welfare Department, Director of Prosecutions, PCR Cell (Police), Women & Child Welfare Department, State & National SC Commissions, Print and Electronic Media Academicians, Advocates and
Intellectuals. This year legal clinic has been organized by thoroughly documenting the status of each case with the involvement of victims, witnesses, human rights defenders and advocates of respective areas. The support required for the victims and witnesses’ case wise is being placed before the Social Welfare Department, Director of Prosecutions and the PCR Cell, Advocates for further assistance such as speedy investigation, payment of compensation, speedy trial etc.
Expressing concern over the inordinate delay right from registering the criminal case and awarding sentence to the guilty, she said that the laws were not implemented properly. After bifurcation of the state, the atrocity case victims were not being awarded rehabilitation and the social welfare department is not implementing the enactment.
Either the commissions or the officials were not afraid of the judiciary or the laws, similarly they are not feeling responsible of the implementation of SC, ST Act.
Response from Stake holders:Reacting to the sad incidents they stated that it was really awful to listen to the problems of the victims. They said that the officials have understood the vulnerability of the victims and would render justice to the victims. They assured that they would take care in avoiding penal and pecuniary delay.
Daniel Prakash said that the neighboring state of Telangana is a head in implementing the
enactment, including payment of compensation, pension, rehabilitation and policing while Andhra Pradesh is lagging behind. It is high time; the working style of social welfare department has to improve.
Later, advocates interacted with the victims of respective districts along with the HRDs and went through the case documents, made a thorough analysis, the legal implications and finalized the required interventions. Recommendations of the Legal Clinic:
To appoint Special Public Prosecutors as per victim’s choice in all 25 cases as per Rule 4(5)of SC/ST PoA Rules 1995.
To strengthen victims and witnesses by arranging legal aid through Legal Services Authority.
To release pending compensation and rehabilitation to the victims of all cases .
To distribute land to the Victims and family members of the deceased under SCSP/TSP Act.
To immediately sanction the pensions to the victims of Rape and cheating in the name of love.
To maintain segregated data related to the violence against dalit women and dalit girl children cases.
To register cases under Sec 4 of SC/ST (PoA) Act for willful negligence of duties .
Special courts to exclusively conduct trial of SC/ST (PoA) Act cases.
To establish separate homes for the victims of atrocities.
To pay TA, DA to the victims and witnesses as per law.
To conduct Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meetings regularly.
To ensure speedy trial to render justice to the victims.
The concerned departments have acknowledged the gaps.
Increased confidence levels among the victims and witnesses.
Advocates gained better understanding on the atrocities.
HRDs strengthened and enlightened.