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  What is the purpose of this website?
 For the first time in India an effort has been made to compile the names of SC officers, advocates, doctors, engineers etc for effective coordination and networking.

  How many cases have been filed in India under the provisions relating to atrocity on employees so far?
 NIL. No case has been filed under sections 3 (1) (viii), 3 (1) (ix) and section 4 so far. This sadly reflects the awareness of SC ST employees of the Act.

  What is the purpose of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) 1989?
 The Act has been passed to prevent offences/atrocities against members of SCs and STs by non-SCs and STs and to provide relief and rehabilitation to victims of such offences. It was felt that even after more than 40 years of independence various gross indignities against SCs and STs have not diminished despite previous legislations.

  Who is an accused under this Act?
 Any person who is not a member of a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe and commits an offence listed in the Act against a member of a schedule caste or a scheduled tribe is an accused.

  Who is a victim and what are the offences under the Act?
 The victim is a member of a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe against whom the accused commits any of the offences given in Section 3 of the Act.

  What does the word “atrocity” means?
 According to this Act atrocity means an offence punishable under Section 3 of this Act. For the first time ‘atrocity’ has been defined and included to mean all multiple ways through which the members of SCs and STs have been for centuries humiliated, brutally oppressed, degraded, denied their economic and social rights and relegated to perform the most menial jobs.

  What does “Code” means in the Act?
 According to this Act Code means the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (Cr.P.C.), (2 of 1974).

  What does “Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes” mean?
 According to this Act Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall have the meaning assigned to them respectively under clause (24) and clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution of India. These castes have been notified in the First Schedule, Section 3, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes Order, 1950). This list for SCs and STs of five states is attached as ANNEXTURE-C

  What are the punishments of offences of atrocities?
 According to this Act, the accused person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine. It is important to note that the punishment for all offenses is identical.

  What is a legal proceeding?
 Any proceeding, which is taken against any person under any law, rule or regulation, is called legal proceeding.

  Is disciplinary proceedings conducted against an employee of government or /PSU/Semi government etc a legal proceeding?
 YES. A disciplinary proceeding is also a legal proceeding because it is conducted under Service Acts and Rules, passed by the Parliament or the State Legislature. For example, a charge sheet issued to an officer of All India Service is a legal proceeding as it has been issued under All India Service Rules framed under All India Service Act passed by the Parliament. The same is true of employees of state governments or other organizations. Hence, explanations, show cause notices, charge sheets, enquiries, suspensions, withdrawal of promotions, delaying promotions, dismissals or termination of services etc. are legal proceedings.

  Is it necessary to plead during the disciplinary proceedings that false legal proceedings were initiated due to caste prejudice?
 YES. It has to be proved beyond doubt that the false legal proceedings were initiated only because of caste prejudice.

  What is FALSE, MALICIOUS and VEXATIOUS proceedings?
 According to longman dictionary of cotemporary English the words FALSE means untrue or incorrect, MALICIOUS means intention to hurt or harm someone and VEXATIOUS means continually troubling or displeasing someone. Any legal proceeding having the above ingredients will be termed as such.

  What is the punishment for neglect of duties by a public servant?
 If any person being a public servant but not being a member of a Schedule Caste or a Scheduled Tribe willfully neglects his /her duties required to be performed by him/her under this Act, than according to this Act, that person shall be punishable with the imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year. Incidentally, no public servant seems to have been punished under this clause till date despite several glaring examples to the contrary.

  What are the special courts under this Act?
 According to this Act, for the purpose of providing for speedy trial the State Government shall with concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify for each district a Court of session to be a Special Court to try the offences under this Act.

  Can a complaint be filed directly in the special court?
 NO. Present status is that the special court being a ‘Court of Sessions’ cannot take cognizance of a complaint directly. The case has to be committed to the Special court by a lower court.

  What can you do if your complaint is not registered by the police?
 If the police do not register your complaint, you can send it to the Superintendent of Police, who will get it investigated. Further, if the SP gives no relief you can move to the judicial court and register a private complaint.

  What are the Special Public Prosecutors under this Act?
 According to this Act, for every Special Court, the State Government shall by notification in the Official Gazette specify a public prosecutor or appoint on advocate who has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years as a special Public Prosecutor for the purpose of conducting cases in that court.

  Who can investigate into an offence under the Act?
 An offence under the Act can be investigated by a police officer, who is not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

  Is there any time limit to complete the investigation?
 The investigating officer has to complete the investigation on top priority but not later than thirty days.

  Are the offences under the Act cognizable?
 All offences listed in the Act are cognizable. This simply means that the police can register a case without taking any orders from the court and start investigation and can arrest the offenders without warrants.

  Can an offender under the Act obtain anticipatory bail?
 No. Provisions of Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, regarding anticipatory bail are not available to any offender under the Act.

  What is Anticipatory Bail?
 When any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested in a non-bailable offence, he applies to the High Court or the Court of Sessions for a direction to the concerned authorities that, in the event of his arrest, he shall be released on bail. Anticipatory bail thus means grant of bail in non-bailable cases to a person apprehending arrest. This facility is not available under this Act.

  Is there any provision for compensation under the Act?
 YES. A victim of atrocity under the Act, you are entitled to compensatory relief and other facilities under the rules.

  What are the limitations/time frames to file the complaint?
 There should not be unnecessary delay in filing of complain. Moreover, the delay in filing the complaint must be explained to the satisfaction of the court

  What is the address of SC ST Commission and how can it help a victim?
 
NATIONAL OFFICE: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Government of India, 5th Floor, Loknayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi – 110 003. Telephone (011) 2462 0435. Fax (011) – 2462 5378.
REGIONAL OFFICE: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Kendriya Sadan, Sixth floor, Sector-9, Chandigarh. Telephone (0172) 2743784/2742561. The website address of the Commission is http://ncscst.nic.in. It would be in the fitness of the things to keep the Commission in picture at all levels and seeks its active cooperation, which is, incidentally, readily available.

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