MADURAI:The State government on Wednesday informed the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that it had constituted the State-level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2015, after a gap of 15 months.
In a petition, A Kondavellai of Madurai said the Centre enacted the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 1989. The amended law was enacted in 2015. As per the Act, there should be a State-level vigilance and monitoring committee to ensure that the law was being implemented. The panel should consist of not more than 25 members, led by the Chief Minister, who would be its chairman. But at present, such a panel had not been constituted.
As per information obtained under the RTI Act, it was found that the committee was functioning from January 2013 to December 2015. But after the expiry of the committee's tenure, it had not been constituted so far. Hence the petition.
When the petition came up before a division bench of Justices A Selvam and N Authinathan, the special government pleader said the government had constituted the committee three days ago. The court wanted him to submit the notification. The Special GP sought time. The petition has been adjourned to April 27.
Passing orders on another petition, the bench sought details about the rehabilitation, including employment provided to family members of Dalits who were either murdered or affected by criminal offences committed by other community members.
Petitioner N Dhanapal of Madurai said as per the National Crime Records Bureau, 471 people belonging to SC community had been murdered between 2001 and 2015 in the State, while during the same period, 363 rape cases had been registered based on complaints by SC women. As per the SC/ST Act, the government should provide various reliefs, including compensation or employment or pension or agricultural land or house to legal heirs of victims as a part of rehabilitation. But in most cases, only monetary compensation was given. Hence the petition.