Govt mulling to amend SC/ST Act
New Delhi: The Centre is considering to amend the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and expand its presumptions such as punishment for neglect of duties by public servants not belonging to SCs and STs, the Lok Sabha was told on Tuesday.
In a reply, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Sudharshan Bhagat said, based on the consultation process with all the stakeholders, amendments in the Prevention of Atrocities (PoA) have been considered.
"Amendments to Chapter II (Offences of Atrocities) to include new definitions, to rephrase certain existing sections and expand the scope of presumptions. This includes substitution of Section 4 of the PoA Act, which relates to punishment for neglect of duties by public servants not belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as well as their duties," he added.
Stating that the objective of the proposed amendments in the PoA Act is to deliver greater justice to SCs and STs, Bhagat said, it would be an enhanced deterrent to the offenders.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Bill, 2013, containing the aforesaid amendments in the PoA was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2013. However, it was not taken up by the house for consideration and passing.
The President promulgated an ordinance in the matter on March 4 this year.
The Government on July 7 has approved introduction of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Bill, 2014 in Parliament.
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