Parliament passes SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015

Parliament has passed The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015.

The bill was first passed in Lok Sabha in August 2015 and later in Rajya Sabha in December 2015. Now it will go for presidential assent.

Key features of the Bill

  • The bill seeks to amend parent law i.e. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • It aims to prohibit the commission of offences against members of the SCs and STs and adds provisions for establishing special courts for the trial cases of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims.
  • Actions to be treated as offences: The Bill adds new categories of actions to be treated as offences committed by non SCs and STs and amends certain existing categories.
  • 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: (i) Garlanding SCs and STs with footwear (ii) Compelling to do manual scavenging or dispose carry animal or human carcasses. (iii) Abusing SCs/STs in public by caste name (iv) Disrespecting any deceased SCs/STs person held in high esteem or attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs/STs (iv) Threatening or imposing economic and social boycott.
  • Offences in case of sexual exploiting of SC or ST woman: It will be considered as an offence in case of (i) Using acts, words or gestures of a sexual nature against SC/ST woman. (ii) Touching an SC/ST woman intentionally in a sexual manner without her consent (iii) Practice of dedicating an SC/ST women as a devadasi to a temple.
  • Following activities will be considered an offence: Preventing SCs/STs using common property resources, entering any places of public worship that is open to the public, and entering an education or health institution.
  • In case of any violation of any provisions mentioned in this act the courts will presume that the accused non SC/ST person was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim, unless it is proved.
  • Public servants role:The Bill add provision specifying duties of public servants which  includes (i) registering a FIR or complaint (ii) 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.
  • It should be noted that parent Act has provision mentioning that public servant (non SC/ST) neglecting his duties related to SCs/STs will be punished with imprisonment for a term of 6 months to 1 year.
  • Establishments of Courts: The Bill adds provision specifying establishment of Exclusive Special Court and Special Court at the district level to try offences mentioned under this Act. Exclusive Public Prosecutor and Public Prosecutor will be appointed for every Exclusive Special Court and Special Court.
  • Rights of victims and witnesses:The bill adds new chapter dealing with the rights of victims and witness. It mentions that it shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims and their dependents and the witnesses. It also mentions that state should specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.

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Categories: Constitution & Law




    Very very crystal clear information on the SC/ST (PoA), Amendment Bill, 2015 provided by GKToday in detail.

    Thanks GKT, Plz keep it up.

  • yuva

    Thankyou.very useful for exams

  • vipin Patel

    Important for us..

    Thanks to GK Today

  • pooja rampal

    thnks so much for us….

  • pooja rampal

    thnks to gk today ..its very helpful in all upsc exam

  • Anil Rao

    Absolutely crazy bill. Indian people are nuts and extremely intolerant of different opinions it seems. Wow. Just Wow. In no other democracy in the world something like this is possible and still have something called “free speech” as a fundamental right.

    “Disrespecting any deceased SCs/STs person held in high esteem” Is the most ridiculous prevision I ever seen.

    • Ritika

      You find it ridiculous!! WOW really WOW!!

    • abhishek

      @ritika its crazy because ‘disrespect’ is not defined.. criticism could be confused with disrespect and similarly high esteem is also a vague term.

  • Nataasha

    The information is given in a lucid manner. Gets a clear picture regarding the bill.
    Thanks to GK today!!!!!


    thans.a lot for giving in details the article ..,

  • Sailaja

    Law should be same for everybody. Why is the government dividing people into castes? All are equal.

    • kishor

      Dear,because people belongs to this category have phase more threats than other casts (like untouchability,disrespect)

  • Shabs

    Thanks for the info…

  • surendra thakur

    Good governance

  • Tagaji Marawadi

    very important information, thanks, keep it up.

  • Ramesh

    Shailaja ji Govt. Is not dividing..they are trying to make them equal …our ancestors have divided it….Govt. Is just trying to compensate…similar is case with women’s reservation… Good initiative by Govt.

  • krishna

    The section is miss using 90%, In the villages this section was using for revenge of leaders by putting SC-ST cases with their followers in small petty issues and grudges were grown up in the villages.

  • Mahmadarafeeq

    this is more utilize our professional examination
    thank u very much

  • Gouthami

    It is very useful for competitive exams. …thank u very much…

  • sandeep