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Scheduled caste and scheduled tribe (prevention of atrocities)act,1989
SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND
S O C I A L L E G I S L AT I O N
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe
(Prevention of Atrocities)Act,1989
SCHEDULED CASTE AND SCHEDULED
TRIBE (PREVENTION OF ATROCITIES)
The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989 was enacted by the Parliament of India
(Act 33 of 1989), to prevent atrocities against scheduled
castes and scheduled tribes. The Act is popularly known as
POA, the SC/ST Act, the Prevention of Atrocities Act, or
simply the Atrocities Act.
Various measures adopted to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the SCs and STs they remain
vulnerable and are subject to various offences, indignities and
humiliations and harassment. When they assert their rights
and against the practice of Untouchability against them the
vested interest try to cow them down and terrorize them.
Atrocities against the SCs and STs, still continued.
The objectives of the Act, therefore, very
clearly emphasis the intention of the Indian state
to deliver justice to SC/ST communities through
affirmative action in order to enable them to live
in society with dignity and self-esteem and
without fear, violence or suppression from the
dominant castes. The Supreme Court of India too
reiterated the significance and importance of the
The term 'atrocity' was not defined until
this Act was passed by the Parliament in 1989. In
legal parlance, the Act understands the term to
mean an offence punishable under sections 3(1)
In specific terms:
Atrocity is “an expression commonly used
to refer to crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs)
and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in India”.
For speedy trial, Section 14 of the Act
provides for a Court of Session to be a Special
Court to try offences under this Act in each
district. Rule 13(i) mandates that the judge in
a special court be sensitive with right aptitude
and understanding of the problems of the SCs
Atrocities often take place when persons
belonging to the SC community do not fulfill their
'caste functions' by doing ritually prescribed
'unclean' work or break the caste boundaries such as
sitting in the bus or wearing a turban often the
preserve of the dominant castes. Atrocities are often
a form of 'collective' punishment for daring to have
even some semblance of non-dependence which is
termed as 'prosperous', and the atrocity is to bring
them back into the situation of total dependence and
servitude. The state therefore has the duty to help the
community back on its feet.
DRAWBACKS AND LACUNAE
Lack of awareness