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Round Table Conference on Implementation of SC, ST (PoA) Act

On the eve of 11th Annual General Body meeting of DSS a Round Table Conference on the implementation of SC, ST PoA Act and SCSP, TSP Act was held on 21st February 2017at SSS Kalyana Mandapam, Hyderabad.The premises for the event was named “Sri. Bojja

TharakamPranganam”, in memory of the dalit intellectual, High Court Advocate, Sri. Bojja Tarakam, who passed away last year. Sri B Vijaya Bharathi, the former director of Telugu Academy and renowned writer has participated as the chief guest and hoisted the flag of DSS.

The background work and preparations like jury kit with all details of the case and facilitating the victims and witnesses’ presence for the Round Table Conference etc were all done. State level officials of Police, Director of Prosecution, Social Welfare, Industries departments from both the states, DHRDs, CSOs, Victims, witnesses, Women Collective leaders, dalit women activists, sympathisers of dalit women cause from various walks of lifehave all assembled at the venue in time. About 600 odd women and 100 men gathered.

Round Table Conference on the Implementation of SC,ST(PoA) Act1989:

SC, ST(PoA) Act1989 is an important legislation to prevent /punish the atrocities on dalits/dalit women/ children. As the Act was not implemented properly, a national level confederation of all dalit NGOs/activists/intellectuals conducted a marathon campaign for plugging the loopholes in the Act and stringent implementation. The campaign was a success and the union government brought necessary amendments to the Act and Rules, which became operative since 2016. It is necessary to review the working of the Act and also to contemplate the issues that may arise in the light of the new Act and Rules. With this objective, a Round Table Conference of all concerned was organized on the first day of the Annual Conference. The main theme of the Round Table Conference is to bring together the Victims, Witnesses, Human Rights Defenders, Social Welfare Department, Police Department, Director of Prosecutions, toresolve the long pending cases of atrocities and to sort out the way of resolving the latest cases. The officials that attended the Round Table Conference as jury members are:

G Vijayanthi - Director of Prosecutions of Telangana; Sri P V Sunil Kumar IPS, IGP – PCR Cell of Andhra Pradesh; Kalyan Chakravarthi IAS -Director General of EPTRI of Telangana; Sri Chellappa IAS – Chairperson, Tribal Commission of Telangana, Sri Kaki Madhava Rao IAS – Former Chief Secretary of AP; Sri PSN Murthy IDAS, (VR); Dr Devika Rani, Director of ESI; Dr Vijaya Bharathi; Dr Siddoji; Sri Jeeva Patra Kumar from SWD of AP; Abhirami from NDMJ; Sumitra – Member of SCPCR, AP.

In this Round Table Conference, 25 selected glaring cases of injustice that are long pending at various levels such as payment of compensation/rehabilitation/Investigation/charge sheet etc have been selected and presented before the jury of officials. A Jury Kit with all details of the cases along with important issues like, punishing the wilful negligence of the public servants was made ready and presented to the jury members.

The jury kit was released by Sri Vijayanthi, Director of Prosecutions and the first copy was given to the mother of rape victim.

GDV Prakash, Programme Manager of DSS started the session by narrating brief details of

each case before the jury and the victims themselves explained their agony and the Program Manager put forward the below mentioned issues before the Jury.

  • Registration of the case is delayed giving scope for forcible

  • compromise

  • FIR not registered with proper sectionsNot sent for medical treatment., purposefully delayed in

  • rape cases also

  • Delay in investigationMore than 70% of the cases registered in 2016 by quoting the old sections

  • Police deliver the summons to the victims and witnesses at nick of the time

  • Most of the PPs are reluctant in giving orientation

  • PPs are over loaded with other cases

  • There are occasions the PPs doesn’t file written arguments

  • PPs give scope for defence advocates and compromise

  • Trial not conducted at a stretch and many adjournments are given

  • Atrocity cases are not priority for designated special courts

  • TA & DA not paid to the victims and witnesses

  • High courts giving stays and not vacating the cases years together

  • Social Welfare department has failed to coordinate the departments Immediate relief, compensation and rehabilitation not paid on time

  • C Section do not have the perspective and humiliate the victims seeking compensation

Jhansi Geddam, National Convener DSSin continuation has said that the 25 cases presented today are major cases like murders, gang rapes, rapes, mass attacks, gang rape and murder, caste abuse and attack, sexual exploitation and cheating in the name of love etc.

Briefing about the Rohit Vemula incident the government has intentionally twisted the case as one of the ministers is involved and at present the case is almost losing its ground and many similar cases are left hanging in air. She said that the police think that their job is over once the case is registered. The insensitive approach during the medical aid still weakens the case and the delayed payment of compensation and rehabilitation still worsens the pathetic situation of the victims. The survivors or the family members of the deceased have to linger around the offices bearing all sorts of humiliation and pled for the sanction of compensation. The agony and the traumatic condition continuous for a long time for the mothers who have lost their children as they are forced to be on the roads seeking justice. During the trial the Special Public Prosecutors give space to the defence advocates in strengthening their arguments and demoralizing the victims and witnesses. She pointed out that no prosecutor is interested in discussing with the witnesses and giving orientation to them. Consequently, there are no perfect depositions in the Court, leading to acquittals. She said that when the officials who have to help lack perspective and behave very meanlybrings down the morale of the survivors, therefore it is evident that the concerned officials at their respective levels are not interested to take forward the case in accessing justice.


After the presentation, the jury members spoke and expressed their reactions as follows:

Dr Vijaya Bharathi, the former Director of Telugu Academy after listening to the survivors, parents of the deceased have expressed her deep-felt concern and said that how long should we keep on fighting/agitating one case after the other and will not there be an end to this injustice. One of the main reasons for the continuous occurrence of these incidents is that the enemy has no fear because we are divided in all angles and at all levels. Unless and until we wage a united battle in a comprehensive manner and create a fear that the accused is not left un punished.


Dr Devika Rani Director of ESI, appreciated the work of DSS and suggested that the dalit women should get educated and acquire self-confidence. She felt that education is the way towards empowerment. She said it is necessary to learn skills like karate to defend oneself. She expressed her deep concern to the survivors of atrocities, expressed her solidarity and will take forward any decision made by the jury.



Ms. Vijayanthi, Director of Prosecutions, appreciated DSS for arranging Round Table

Conference and said that it enlightened her on the various gaps that are acting as hurdles in getting justice.She felt that the amended Act is powerful as it provides effective ways to prevent atrocities and punish the culprits.She said that implementation of the Act is

hurdles in getting justice. She felt that the amended Act is powerful as it provides effective ways to prevent atrocities and punish the culprits. She said that implementation of the Act is much important mainly by SWD, the police to investigate, prosecutors to conduct prosecutions which will be followed by the judges. Today coordination is lacking between these concerned departments and hope to have coordination in future for effective implementation of the Act and Rules.She said that all Acts have implementation problem, amendments are made for effective implementation and therefore the prosecution can’t correct the defects of investigation. Hence, we need to be vigilant at every stage of the case. She suggested to take care to see that the witnessed do not turn hostile. She stressed the need for proper and speedy investigation and filing of charge sheets for accessing justice.Responding to the specific cases presented on the inaction of the SPPs and PPs, she assured of necessary action and promised that proper measures will be taken to ensure that the same mistakes will not happen in future.


Sri. Chellappa, IAS.,pointedout that Sri. RamaswamiNaickiar, popularly known as Periar, wore a black shirt on 15th August 1947as a protest on the ground that there is no real freedom and said that power passed on from the British white elite to Indian elite According to him there is

no real freedom to the oppressed castes and classes, as such he always wore a black shirt till the end of his life to signify the lack of freedom to the oppressed. Four states are competing with each other on committing atrocities against dalits and with slight difference Rajasthan stands 1st, UP 2nd, Bihar 3rd and followed by Andhra Pradesh. He pointed out how even he was harassed by the Chief Secretary during his service by writing negative remarks against him to prevent his promotion as Chief Secretary. It is necessary, he pointed out, that the oppressed should organize and struggle against atrocities.

He pointed out that there are still some lacunae in the amended Act also, like the omission of directing the concerned officer to prepare FIR in the language of the victim, consent of the complainant etc.


Sri Jeeva Patra Kumar Joint Director of Social Welfare Department, Andhra Pradesh, said that

the Joint Directors and Directors Social Welfare Departments are reviewing the cases under the chairmanship of the District Collector, to strengthen the implementation of the Act.He said that 781 cases have been registered during the year 2016. Collective efforts need to be done for the effective implementation of the Act, develop self-defence mechanisms and take necessary steps to reduce the acquittals.He appreciated DSS and assured all assistance and co-operation.




Mr. Kalyan Chakravarthy IAS,appreciated DSS and said that he cancelled all important meetings for the day to attend and interact with the dalit women here today.He said the work carried out by DSS is very important and suggested DSS to take up sensitizing police officers,

judiciary and other higher ups. He pointed out that the proper implementation of the Act can be done only when the final authority i.e. political authority is committed and instructs the officers below to seriously implement the Act. Often the officers are made busy to create distance from the community. Even I was also very busy, an industrialist pressurised me for a clearance certificate but still I came over and has been enlightened a lot. We should bring a fear that if the Act is not implemented properly they are punished. Therefore, we need more protectors, hence educate our children more.


Ms. Sumitra member of SCPCR,said that she is very happy for being invited every year and is thankful to the staff. As Ambedkar said we need to educate, organise and agitate. Unless and until we don’t agitate the Acts/laws are not implemented. We also need to fight against all sorts of discrimination and develop inclusive mechanisms. She stressed on the need to sensitize on SC, ST(PoA) Act1989 and POSCO Act at micro level. Special courts under POSCO Act need to be established immediately. She called for aunited effort, the need for pressurizing the Government for effective implementation of the Acts.


Abhirami from NDMJsharing about the NCRB data has said that 6 lakhs cases have been

registered in 2015 – 16 and the registered cases are just 40% of the actual atrocities which have taken place, it means 60% of the cases have not been registered. The conviction rate is 4%. IN AP and Telangana sensitization of the stake holders have to be done on the SC/ST amendment Act and much focus on Sec 4 to ensure the effective implementation of the Act. She briefed about the national level campaign led by NDMJ for the amendments and the role of DSS played in both the states.


Mr. P. Sunil Kumar, IPS,IG of PCR Cell, advised to take care while preparing FIR and see that proper statements are given at the time of investigation.With regard to the cases presented today would be resolved within one week.He said that the charge sheet process will be speeded up, and charge sheet will be scrutinized before filing. The amendment Act is very

elaborate and strong. More sections have been added on making the things very clear for instance, the section pertaining to demolition of statues is also very clear. As we all know the percentage of acquittal is very high and if we look into the reasons and analyse them it indicates that we need to take all necessary measures in filing the FIR properly, see that the statements are recorded properly, investigation is done by the IO by taking all the necessary care to strengthen the case. Similarly, the IO has to procure material evidences in rape cases such as semen, cloths etc. Therefore, if the scientific evidences are collected properly the case with stands. Sharing his experience as Inspector General of Police, detailed about an incident of murder at Ongole. The case was lost due to the backwardness of the community the FIR was not registered properly. He said that the people belonging to middle class and below middle class go to the police stations seeking justice whereas the rich people go to income tax offices seeking justice in terms of economic benefit. Much publicity is given saying that the Act is being misused, whereas acquittal in a case is mainly because of other reasons rather than being false. Similarly, the pressure in the village from the dominant communities, request from the side of the accused for apologies also lead to compromise, whereas the police show these cases as false.

Recommendations:

  • Necessary action will be initiated in all the 25cases immediately.

  • Regular review of the PPs will be done with the focus on atrocity cases.

  • In time sanction and payment of the compensation.

  • Awareness to the officials of the concerned departments on the amendment Act will be organised.

  • To negotiate with the government for the establishment of exclusive special courts and SPPs.

  • Much focus on the sensitization to the SHOs on the amendment Act.

  • To develop mechanisms for the effective discharge of duties by the officials of the concerned departments at their respective levels.

  • Wider publicity on the rights of the victims and witnesses to all the stake holders.



























Round Table Conference on Implementation of SCSP/TSP Act

On the eve of 11th Annual General Body meeting of DSS in the second session a Round Table Conference on the implementation of SCSP, TSP Act was held. State level officials of Industries department from both the states, National and state level representatives of DICCI, PSN Murthy IDAS, Vimala Morthala, CSOs, Women Collective leaders, dalit women activists, sympathisers of dalit women cause from various walks of life have all assembled and about 600 odd women and 100 men have participated.

The Convener and Program Manager briefed the ground realities on the implementation of the SCSP, TSP Act and the role of various stakeholders such as SWD, Industries, SC Corporation, Banks etc. They have said that the community had very high hopes on the Act whereas, in implementation it is not that encouraging. The bankers are reluctant as usual,

similarly the community is unable to access the concerned departments. The mother department(SWD), has failed to own the community and could not implement the Act effectively. More over lack of commitment in the government has further demoralized the whole process and the government have also failed in releasing the budgets. Another painful thing is that budgets under the Act are being allocated to other departments and all the general expenditure is being booked under this head for instance, women and child welfare department is paying the salaries of their staff in the Anganwadi centres. Industries department of AP had an unspent of Rs. 135 crores and the same was reverted to SWD. On the other hand, the beneficiaries have been going around the banks and the departments pleading for loans and nothing is working out. Given this situation they have requested the dignitaries on the dais to suggest ways forward for accessing the schemes.


Suresh Babu, Additional Commissioner of Industries, AP and Mahesh, Joint Director of Industries, Telangana: We have the “haves & have nots in the society. The exploitation of have nots leads to new Acts. Therefore, economic empowerment is a must hence due to the