New Delhi: With a view to strengthening the law to prevent atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, which makes wilful neglect of duties by public servants in issues relating to atrocities a punishable offence.
The bill also makes provisions for state governments to establish Exclusive Special Court to try offences under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014, was introduced by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot.
The bill states that if a public servant, who is not a member of a SC or ST, wilfully neglects his duties required to be performed by him under this Act, he or she shall be punished with imprisonment for a term from six months to one year.
The duties of the public servant includes registering a complaint or a First Information Report under this Act and other relevant provisions and record the statement of the victims or witnesses.
According to the statement of objects and reasons, the implementation of the Act suffers due to procedural hurdles such as non-registration of cases, procedural delays in investigation, arrest and filing of charge-sheets.