Dec. 5 Under fire from the opposition over increase in cases of atrocities against dalits in the state, Haryana Government has decided to set up special courts to deal with cases registered under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Tuesday directed to take up the matter on priority basis regarding the setting up of exclusive courts to deal with such cases. To begin with such courts would be set up in four districts namely Hisar, Bhiwani, Kaithal and Rewari, where the pendency of cases are comparatively high.
The directions were given by Manohar Lal while presiding over the meeting of state level vigilance and monitoring committee to review the progress made under the provision of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 here. Housing and Jails Minister Krishan Lal Panwar and Minister of State for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Krishan Kumar Bedi were also present in the meeting.
The CM’s directions came at a time when the ruling BJP is facing severe criticism over the mysterious death of a dalit youth inside a police chowki in Jhajjar town of Haryana last week.
Slamming the State Government over the incident, the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have demanded an independent probe into the case.
Only a day before, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal had visited the family of the deceased, Rajesh Kumar, in Jhajjar and demanded a CBI inquiry in the case. A head constable and munshi in the police chowki where the deceased Rajesh had allegedly committed suicide have been suspended on Tuesday.
Police have maintained that Rajesh Kumar had committed suicide by hanging himself in the police chowki on November 28.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Tuesday directed that all necessary steps are being taken to prevent and curb atrocities on members of SCs.
During the meeting, it was informed that the High Court has already notified a Court of the Additional District Judge 1 (senior most Additional District and Sessions Judge) in each district of the state as special court to deal with the cases of atrocities under the Act. However, the matter of setting up of exclusive courts is under the consideration. The cases under the Act are required to be decided by the Courts within a period of two months.
It was also decided that while a study of social aspects would be got conducted by Social Justice and Empowerment Department to ascertain the reason behind crime against the people belonging to Scheduled Castes, the police department would analyze the actual motive in the cases of murder, attempt to murder and hurt especially in the districts of Hisar, Bhiwani, Kaithal and Rewari so that necessary steps could be taken in this direction.
The Chief Minister was apprized that all necessary steps are being taken to prevent and curb atrocities on members of SCs by enforcing in right earnest the provisions of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989.
As and when a report regarding an atrocity committed on any member of the SC is received, criminal case is registered and prompt action against the accused is taken under relevant sections of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989 apart from relevant sections of IPC. Also, a special cell has been set-up at Police Headquarter, Panchkula to deal with the crime against SCs in the state.
The relief ranging from Rs 85,000 to Rs 8.25 lakh is provided to the members belonging to SCs who become victims of atrocities under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act. During the year 2018-19, as many as 696 persons have been provided relief of over Rs 9.42 crore upto October 31, this was informed.
Similarly, under the Mukhyamantri Samajik Samrasta Antarjatiya Vivah Shagun Yojna, the financial assistance to a non scheduled caste boy or girl who marry with a SC girl or boy has been enhanced from Rs 1,01,000 to Rs 2,50,000. The amount is deposited in the joint bank account of the couple for three years of lock in period. An amount of over Rs 4.27 crore has been distributed to 638 beneficiaries under the scheme during the same period this year, the Chief Minister was informed.
Regarding setting up of six fast track courts in those districts where 50 or more cases of rape, eve-teasing and mental harassment are pending in the courts, it was informed that the matter has already been taken with the High Court. The State Government has already sanctioned the required supporting staff for these fast track courts and the same would be set up soon.