Maha govt seeks spl courts for speedy trial of Dalit cases

To speed up the poor conviction rate in atrocity cases against Dalits, Maharashtra government has proposed to set up special courts for quick trial of such cases.

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2010, 18:10 PM IST

Mumbai: To speed up the poor conviction
rate in atrocity cases against Dalits, Maharashtra government
has proposed to set up special courts for quick trial of such
cases.

"We have proposed to set up special courts to deal with
atrocity cases against Dalits and the proposal has been sent
to the Law and Judiciary Department for approval," Home
Minister R R Patil informed the Legislative Council today.

Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe raised the issue in the House
and asked the government to explain the reasons behind low
conviction rate in the atrocity cases against Dalits.

She cited figures by the National Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes Commission, which indicates that conviction
rate in these cases in the state is only three per cent.

Citing reasons, Patil said delay in registering complaint
and conducting investigations, non-cooperation of witnesses
and failure to verify caste certificates were the main causes.

"The state government has appointed a committee to
overcome such hurdles and improve the conviction rate," Patil
said.

Another Shiv Sena MLC Diwakar Raote alleged the Atrocity
Act was being misused and false complaints were being lodged
and sought to know if the government would make any changes in
the Act in view of false complaints being lodged.

To this, Patil said the government has no plans to amend
the Act, adding that a Deputy SP level official verifies these
cases before lodging the complaints under the Act.

PTI