- Apprentice Lawyer
Submit list of cases registered under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act from 2015-2020: Karnataka High Court pulls up State for non-compliance
The Court noted that despite its earlier directions, the State has filed a list of cases only for the year 2015.
After noting non-compliance on the part of the State government, the Karnataka High Court, by way of a last chance, directed it to submit a comprehensive chart on all cases registered under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act [SC/ST Act] from 2015-2020.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma passed this direction after it was pointed out that the State has filed a chart only for the year 2015.
This apart, the Court directed the State to frame a proper contingency plan as envisaged under Rule 15 of the SC/ST Rules.
In its order, the Bench noted,
"This is a case of serious default by the State government in complying with Rule 15 of the said Rules. On the next hearing, the State will specify an outer limit for framing the contingency plan."
The Court was rather prompt to add that the role of the State does not come to a halt after framing the contingency plan, but extends to its effective implementation.
On this aspect, Senior advocate Jayna Kothari submitted that as per Rule 15, the contingency plan has to include immediate relief, allotment of land, and a compensation package, among others.
These directions were passed by the Bench in a set of pleas seeking the proper implementation of various provisions of the SC/ST Act and its Rules.
During the hearing, the Court observed that the meetings of the vigilance and monitoring committees under the Act were not conducted. In many districts, after August, no meetings of committees were held, stated the Bench.
SC/ST Act: Karnataka HC flags infrequent committee meetings, inadequate information; Orders State to furnish data on pending cases
In a previous hearing, the Court had made a specific direction stating that all the committees under the Act will have to convene meetings before the end of the year, 2020.
Noting that this direction was not adhered to, by way of last opportunity, the Bench has directed that all the committees meet before the end of January 2020.
In an attempt to assess the effectiveness of the said committees, the State government will have to send the minutes of the meetings held to the petitioner counsel, the Bench ordered.
The matter has been adjourned to February 12.