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Mayawati government issued two orders saying Act being misused

Author: Pervez Siddiqui
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 4, 2018
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/maya-govt-issued-two-orders-saying-act-being-misused/articleshow/63603386.cms

BSP supremo Mayawati may have supported the Dalit protests against the Supreme Court order related to dilution of provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, but during her regime as UP chief minister, her government had issued at least two similar orders highlighting that the Act was being misused to implicate innocents. The two orders issued by the then chief secretaries specified that action should not be initiated merely on the basis of complaint but arrests should be done after the accused is found prima facie guilty in the initial probe.

In the first letter, dated May 20, 2007, and sent by the then chief secretary Shambhu Nath, point number 18 dealt at length with the issue of police complaints under the Act. The missive was issued barely a week after Mayawati was sworn in as UP CM. The highlight of the directive was that only serious offences like murder and rape should be registered under the Act while the less serious offences related to Schedule Castes and Tribes should be done away with under relevant sections of the IPC.

In case of a rape complaint under the SC/ ST Act, action should be initiated against the accused only after sexual assault is corroborated in the medical examination of the victim and prima facie the charges appear to be true, it said. The note, a copy of which is available with TOI, states that police should not initiate action merely because a complaint has been lodged by a person from the SC and ST as there have been instances where people use such individuals as a cover to settle scores with rivals.

The missive was followed by another letter six months later (dated October 29, 2007) issued by the then chief secretary Prashant Kumar to the DGP as an amendment to the May 20 missive and addressed to all senior officers on field duty. It was stated that in case it is found that the complainant has falsely implicated an innocent under the provisions of the SC/ST Act, the complainant must be booked under Section 182.

Repeated attempts to contact BSP spokesperson and leaders for their reaction on this issue proved futile.
 
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