SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 has been passed by Parliament [ Current Affairs ]


The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 has been passed by Parliament. In August 2015, this bill was first passed in Lok Sabha and well ahead in Rajya Sabha in December 2015. Now it will go for presidential approval.

Key features of the Bill

  • This bill is aim to modify parent law, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • The main objective behind it is to prohibit the commission of crimes against members of the SCs and STs and also adds provisions for establishing special courts for the trial cases of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims.

Actions to be treated as offences:

  • Non SCs and STs and amends certain existing categories will be treated as offences committed with improving new categories by action.
  • Impeding certain activities related to voting especially vote or not vote for a particular candidate will also be considered an offence.

Addition of new offences:

  • Footwear will garlanding to SCs and STs
  • Gripping to does manual searching or order carry animal or human carcasses.
  • Hurting SCs/STs in public by caste name.
  • Insulting any dead SCs/STs person held in high esteem or attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs/STs.
  • Threatening or commanding economic and social prohibit.

Offences in case of sexual exploiting of SC or ST woman: It will be crime in following case

  • Using acts, words or gestures of a sexual nature against SC/ST woman.
  • Touching an SC/ST woman purposefully in a sexual manner without her consent
  • Dedicate SC/ST women as a devadasi to a temple.

Following activities will be considered an crime:

  • Stopping SCs/STs to use common property resources, entering any places of public worship that is open to the public, and entering an education or health institution.
  • According to this act the courts will assume that the suspected non SC/ST person was aware of the caste or family identity of the victim, unless it is proved in case of any abuse of any provisions mentioned in this act.

Public servants role:

  • FIR registration or complaint.
  • Public servant must read out the information given oral complaint by SC/ST person before taking the signature of the victim and giving copy of this information to the victim.

Establishments of Courts:

  • This bill also includes establishing Exclusive Special Court and Special Court at the district level to try offences mentioned under this Act.
  • For every Exclusive Special Court and Special Court, Exclusive Public Prosecutor and Public Prosecutor will be appointed.

Rights of victims and witnesses:

  • New chapter has added in this bill which includes rights of victims and witness.
  • And according to that bill it shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims and their dependents and the witnesses.
  • State should specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses is also mentioned in that bill.

- Published on: December 22, 2015