Chennai: While a debate has been raging all over the country on the proposed dilution of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Tamil Nadu has recorded abysmally low in the conviction rate under the Act.
Releasing a status report on the implementation of the Act during 2016 and 2017 in a meeting in Chennai on Monday, former Secretary to Union Ministry of Welfare Dr P.S. Krishnan, said every week a Dalit killed and a Dalit woman or girl is raped in the state.
The number of case registered under the Act has come down by 19 per cent to 1,476 in 2016 from 1,822 cases in 2015. Only one rape of an Adivasi (ST) was recorded.
The state has recorded acquittal rate of 92.21 per cent in the crime against Dalits. Ramanathapuram, Tiruppur, Thiruvarur, Pudukkottai, Thiruvallur, Thanjavur, Theni, Chennai, Tiruvannamalai, Coimbatore, Dindigul and Cuddalore districts recorded 100 per cent acquittal rate. Not even a single accused were convicted under the Act in these districts. Ironically, the government had not taken effort to file appeal even in a single case.
Over 81 per cent case are pending in courts. Pending cases have been on the rise in Thanjavur, Perambalur, Vellore, Theni, Ariyalur, Chennai, Tiruvannamalai, Virudhunagar, Salem, Coimbatore, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Dindigul, Cuddalore, Madurai and Trichy districts.
Madurai is the only district to register a case under The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
Exclusive special courts should be established in all districts, especially in Viruthunagar and Thiruvanamalai districts, where a large number of cases under the Act are pending.
Among others Edwin, Programme Director, Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation and R.Karuppusamy Director Rights Education and Development Centre spoke on the occasion. The meeting was organized by Tamil Nadu Right to Information Campaign.