Scheduled Tribes Current Affairs

SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: Government to File Review Petition

Union law ministry is preparing to file a review petition against the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 that puts a stop to immediate arrests in complaints filed under its provisions.

Back ground

Previously, in an attempt to curb the misuse of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989) and protect honest public servants Supreme Court gave following verdict:

  • An arrest is not mandatory under the SC/ST Act, and the automatic arrest has been scrapped.
  • The court further directed that public servants can only be arrested with the written permission of their appointing authority. This was to protect public servants and private employees from arbitrary arrests under the Atrocities Act
  • Supreme Court also ruled that before arresting a public servant under the Act, a preliminary investigation by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent is a must

SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was enacted in the year 1989.  It is a comprehensive law which not only defines atrocities against SCs and STs but also make several rules, regulations etc. for proper protection of these vulnerable classes. One of the provisions of the law states 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. Ministry of Social Justice is the nodal ministry to enforce the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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Parivara and Talawara: Cabinet approves inclusion of communities ST list in Karnataka

The Union Cabinet has given its in principle approval for inclusion of communities, namely ‘Parivara and Talawara’ as synonym of Nayaka at in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Karnataka. This approval fulfils long term demand of these communities for granting ST status in Karnataka. With this inclusion, persons belonging to these communities will be eligible to get ST certificate from Karnataka. They will also be eligible for all benefits meant for ST in state.

Background

Scheduled Tribes are notified under Article 342 of Constitution. Karnataka Government had recommended for inclusion of Parivara and Talawara communities as synonyms of ‘Nayaka’ in list STs of state. The first specification of STs in relation to particular State/Union territory is by notified Order of President, after consultation with concerned state government/UT. Any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from and other modifications in list of STs can be made only through amending Act of Parliament.

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