Commission slams govt for laxity in atrocities cases

Commission slams govt for laxity in atrocities cases

Review: Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy, National Commission for Scheduled Castes Chairman P L Punia, Vice-chairman Rajkumar Verka, members Shivanna and Latha Priyakumar at the State-level review meeting in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH photo

Addressing reporters in Bangalore on Wednesday, the Commission Chairman P L Punia said the conviction rate in Karnataka is around nine per cent, one of the lowest in the country. “In many States, the conviction rate in nearly 50 per cent. If other States can do it, why not Karnataka,?” he asked.

The Commission chairman and members directed the State Government to take appropriate steps to increase the conviction rate related to cases filed under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

They were speaking to the media, after holding discussions with various non-government organisations, SC employees' associations, elected representatives and heads of the State government departments over the last three days.

He further said the investigation officers should be educated about the finer aspects of the Act. They should be trained properly to handle such cases, he added.

Punia also expressed concern over the issue of fake caste certificates in the State. He said he asked the State government to take stringent action against both - people who have obtained fake caste certificates and the officials who have issued them.

The government should also clear in a time-bound manner the large number of applications seeking caste certificates  in the State, he added.

He said the Commission has advised the government to make the Social Welfare department as the nodal department to ensure implementation of all schemes related to SCs in the State. A single-window system will ensure better monitoring of schemes, he added.

Punia also asked the government to do away with the practice of outsourcing garbage cleaning work in urban areas, which, according to him, is the root cause for manual scavenging still prevailing in the State.

Manual scavenging is illegal, inhuman and unconstitutional. The government should take steps to introduce mechanised scavenging, besides rehabilitating those who are involved in manual scavenging, he added.

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