Preface: Government of India has passed this legislation under Article 17 of the Indian Constitution to prevent various atrocities committed on Dalits. In this act, punishment has been increased against untouchability and strict punishment has been made against the oppression of Dalits. Crime committed under this Act is non-bailable and ineffective. This Act came into effect from January 30, 1990. This act applies to a person who is not a member of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and commits crimes against members of this class.
Purpose: Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989) passed by the Indian Parliament for preventing atrocity or harassment of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe persons in India.
The President had enacted the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 on September 30, 1989.
(A) Title of the Act – Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
(B) Expansion – to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
(C) Commencement – In the 40th year of the Indian Republic, the said Act was enacted on 30 January 1990
There are three characteristics of this law:
- It punishes offences committed against persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- It gives special protection and rights to the victims.
- It establishes courts, which can handle cases quickly.
Section 3: Penalties for crimes of atrocities
- According to Section 3 (1), there is a provision of a sentence from 6 months to 5 years, the imposition of a penalty, if a member of non-scheduled caste/clan is found guilty of the alleged offence. For the crime of cruel murder, there is a provision for the death penalty.
- If members of the non-SC / ST are giving false testimony against the members of SC / ST, or they may be penalized with death penalty or life imprisonment and fine.
Section-4 and Section -5
- Government employees or officers who are not members of Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes, if they deliberately neglect to obey this act, they will be punished with a sentence ranging from 6 months to 1 year.
(1) Where a person has been convicted of any offence punishable under this Chapter, the Special Court may, in addition to awarding any punishment, by order in writing, declare that any property, movable or immovable or both, belonging to the person, which has been used for the commission of that offence, shall stand forfeited to Government.
(2) Where any person is accused of any offence under this Chapter, it shall be open to the Special Court trying him to pass an order that all or any of the properties, movable or immovable or both,
Section 8 deals with the prevalence of the offence,
- The person giving financial assistance to the accused will be considered guilty of misbehaviour.
According to Section 9, the State Government may provide powers of police or judicial powers to any officer for the prevention of any offence under this Act.
According to Section 10, there is provision for removal of such person who is likely to commit the offence.
Section 11: Procedure on failure of a person to remove himself from the area and enter thereon after removal.—
(1) If a person to whom a direction has been issued under section 10 to remove himself from any area—
(a) fails to remove himself as directed; or
(b) having so removed himself enters such area within the period specified in the order, otherwise than with the permission in writing of the Special Court under sub-section
(2) the Special Court may cause him to be arrested and removed in police custody to such place outside such area as the Special Court may specify.
According to Section 12, Every person against whom an order has been made under section 10 shall, if so required by the Special Court, allow his measurements and photographs to be taken by a police officer.
According to Section 13, if a person violates Section 10, then such person shall be penalized with imprisonment and fine of one year by a tribunal.
According to section 14, For providing for a speedy trial, the State Government shall, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, establish an Exclusive Special Court for one or more Districts.
According to Section 15, a special court is appointed by the special court for the postal service of Special Public Prosecutor who has served as Advocate for 7 years.
According to Section 16, the State Government has been handed the ability to impose a collective fine.
According to Section 17, For every Special Court, the State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify a Public Prosecutor or appoint an advocate who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years, as a Special Public Prosecutor for conducting cases in that Court.
According to Section 18, there is a provision to not grant anticipatory bail to the individual committing crimes under the act.
According to Section 20, provisions of this law shall override, inconsistent and contradictory provisions in other acts.
According to Section 21, Subject to such rules as the Central Government may make in this behalf, the State Government shall take such measures as may be necessary for the effective implementation of this Act.
Section 22: No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Central Government or against the State Government or any officer or authority of Government or any other person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.
Section 23: The Central Government may is empowered to make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.