Karnataka 'pathetic' in dealing with cases against SC/STs

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 17, 2011 20:53 hrs

Bangalore: The performance of the Karnataka government in discharge of its duties under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act) was "pathetic" as it stands sixth in the country as far as crimes against SCs and STs are concerned, according to a State report.

The overall conviction rate for the crimes against SCs and STs in 2010 was five per cent and seven districts had zero per cent conviction rate during the same period, the Karnataka State Report on implementation of SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the State in 2010 said.

In Tumkur, which is one of the 15 districts declared by the government as an area prone to atrocities against SC/STs, 101 cases were disposed off in 2010 without a single conviction by the special court, the study said.

The undivided Gulbarga district and Bangalore City top the number of cases reported in the past three years, it said, adding Mandya has seen a surge in number of cases reported and is second highest in 2010 with 87 cases (39 cases in 2009 and 29 cases in 2008).

Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje gave a call today to provide emotional support to SCs and STs to mainstream them after releasing the report here.

She added she would suggest to the government to implement the recommendations made in the report. The recommendations include setting up of exclusive courts to deal with such cases "with judges with the right aptitude and understanding" and time-bound completion of trials (within a year).

Though the government is supposed to prepare an annual report on implementation of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the State, it had not done so for the past three years, the study said.

The government is also supposed to hold half-yearly review meetings but only one such meeting was held in the last three years, instead of six meetings, the study said.

Hassan and Chickballapur are additions in the top ten districts with the maximum atrocities against SC/STs. After a steep increase in such incidents, they take their place alongside districts such as Bangalore, Gulbarga, Bellary and Mysore, which consistently feature in the top ten, it added.

"Awareness should be created regularly and systematically to school and college students on the Act and Ambedkar Jayanthi should be used to conduct debates and other programmes to highlight the Act," Opposition leader in Legislative Council, Motamma said.

A group consisting of organisations and individuals working on human rights and RTI in Karnataka namely, Anti-Corruption Forum (ACF), Buddhist League, Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike (KDMV), National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), OpenSpace, Rural Education and Development Society (REDS) and Sanchaya Nele compiled the report.