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The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act came into force

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The Central Government will enforce the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act, 2015 for prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes with effect from January 26, 2016. The Lok Sabha on August 04, 2015 and Rajya Sabha on December 21, 2015, had already passed the Bill. After framing the rules for performance, now it will be enforced by the Central Government with effect from January 26, 2016. 

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act, 2015

Key features of the PoA Act 2015

  • To enable immediate and expeditious disposal of cases for the offence under the PoA Act Exclusive special courts and Special Public Prosecutors are established.
  • To take direct cognizance of offence and completion of trial of the case within two months, from the date of filing of the charge sheet.
  • IPC offences like hurt, grievous hurt, intimidation, kidnapping etc., attracting less than ten years of imprisonment, committed against members of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, as offences punishable under the PoA Act.
  • Addition of chapter on the Rights of Victims and Witnesses.
  • Willful negligence of public servants at any level like complaint registration or other covering aspects of negligence of duty is clearly defined under this Act

Steps taken by the government to improve the situation of SS and ST

The Constitution provides three strategies to improve the situation of SCs and STs:

  • Protective arrangements:
  • Affirmative action
  • Development