SC/ST Victims to Get Bigger Relief, Offences List Doubled
Centre specifies as many as 47 categories of offences in which states will pay compensation ranging from 1 lakh to 8.25 lakh to SC/ST victims
New Delhi: An SC/ST victim of gang rape, murder or an acid attack will now get a minimum compensation of ₹ 8.5 lakh from a state government, in what is an significant enhancement of relief for such crimes through an amendment to the rules by Centre. The Centre has amended the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 through a notification on April14,nowspecifyingasmanyas47 categoriesof offencesinwhichstates will pay compensation ranging from ₹ 1lakhto ₹ 8.25lakhtoSC/STvictims. The rules last amended in 2011 had provisionsforonly22kindsof offences with minimum compensation ranging from ₹ 60,000 to ₹ 5Lakh. Theenhancedamountsnowmustbe paid by the state within 7 days of the incident being reported, either in full or at various stages of the investigation and trial, as per a schedule. DistrictMagistrateshavebeenauthorised to immediately withdraw money from state treasuries for the same and courts empowered to also order socioeconomic rehabilitation. The Police will now have to file a charge sheet in casesof SC/STvictimswithin60days and any delay has to be explained in writing by the officers.
Anyincidentof intentionallytouching an SC/ST woman without her consent,stalking,sexualharassment orsexualassaultwillnowleadtocompensation of ₹ 2lakh. A rape victim would get ₹ 5 lakh while a victim of gang rape or a acid attack damaging her face would get ₹ 8.5 lakh. Earlier, outragingmodestyorsexualexploitation of a SC/ST woman got her only ₹ 1.2 lakh relief. Any crime against SC/STinvolvingpunishmentof over 10 years, had relief of ₹ 50,000 while compensationwas ₹ 5lakhformurder.
The new rules have also detailed many offences which were earlier in a general category such as a “deroga- tory act” and “insult, intimidation andhumiliation”andonlygotaminimum of ₹ 60,000 as compensation. New categories as in the existing SC/ STActhavenowbeenspecifiedinthe rules like - abusing by caste name in anyplacewithinpublicview,promotingdedicationof aSC/STwomanasa devadasi and Garlanding with footwear or parading naked or semi-naked - with a relief of ₹ 1 Lakh.
Under the new rules, Prevention from voting or filing nominations or any poll-related violence or boycott during voting of SC/ST persons would now lead to a compensation of at least ₹ 85,000 to each victim. Any victimisation of a SC/ST person at hands of a public servant would meanacompensationof ₹ 2lakhwhile any social or economic boycott of a Dalit person would lead to a relief of ₹ 1 lakh for the victim. Denying a SC/ ST person entry to an educational institution, hospital or any public place would lead to immediate restoration of therightplusacompensationof ₹ 1 lakh - a new provision.
Thenewrules,notifiedonApril14as SCs and the STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016, have come into force immediately. The Modi Government had brought the new Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 which was applicable from this January 26 to ensure more stringent provisions for prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribe. The new rules now enforces this Act.