Atrocities on Dalits: Panel frowns on low conviction rates
Mumbai, Feb 12 : Frowning at low conviction rate -- barely six percent -- in atrocities against Dalits, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Tuesday urged the Maharashtra government to expedite investigation and trial in all such cases.
The commission, headed by P.L. Punia, conducted a state-review meeting of various departments in the works done by them for the benefit of people from the Scheduled Castes.
"The investigations in such cases should be completed within a month as per Supreme Court norms. Trials must be expedited in these cases as records indicate that many cases are lost during investigations and prosecution," Punia told media persons after the meeting.
Punia also expressed displeasure with the attitude of the state government towards serious cases of atrocities against Scheduled Castes which have come to light.
He said the state's current conviction rate in such atrocities cases stood at six percent, though up from three percent.
"Nearly 1,200 atrocities cases are reported each year in the state. Of these, around 500 are left pending. In order to resolve this situation, there should be exclusive, fast track courts," he said.
Punia was also dismayed at the lack of seriousness shown by the government in resolving issues and problems pertaining to Scheduled Castes.
For instance, he said there had been no meeting between the chief minister and state vigilance committees to discuss atrocities on Scheduled Castes since February 2011.
He also expressed concern that police of various districts have also not been part of such meetings.