RS amends SC/ST Bill, passes two others

RS amends SC/ST Bill, passes two others
The Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously passed amendments to the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and two bills approving an additional Rs 56,256.32 crore of supplementary demands for grants to government without any debate.

The bills were passed within minutes as ruling NDA government and the Opposition agreed to clear some other bills.

The SC/ST amendment bill provides for stringent action against those involved in crimes against scheduled castes and tribes, wrongfully occupying their land or dedicating such women as a “devadasi”.

The bill also said assaulting or sexually exploiting SC or ST woman is an offence. Any intentional touching of an SC or ST woman in a sexual manner without her consent, using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature, dedicating an SC or ST women as a ‘devadasi’ to a temple, or any similar practice will be considered an offence.

Besides, garlanding with footwear, compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or do manual scavenging and abusing SCs or STs by caste name in public are also crimes under the bill.

The government also managed to get Appropriation Bills No 4 and No 5 passed by a voice vote without a debate, after these were moved by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha and returned them to Lok Sabha which has already given its nod to them.

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