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Low conviction rate in SC/ST cases irks PM

September 07, 2009 13:06 IST

Expressing shock over less than 30 per cent conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SCs and STs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked state governments to give more attention to the issue and said court cases related to such matters should be "pursued on priority".

"Reports of atrocities against SCs, STs and senior citizens continue to appear with disturbing regularity. I have in fact written to the Chief Ministers of all states recently to enforce the provisions of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

It is shocking that conviction rate for cases of atrocities against SCs and STs is less than 30 per cent against the average of 42 per cent for all cognisable offences under IPC. The state governments need to give more attention to this issue," he said inaugurating a conference of state ministers of welfare and social justice here.

Singh told them to conduct meetings of state and district level vigilance committees on a regular basis and said that court cases should be pursued on priority.

Focussing on the need to change the general mindset towards disadvantaged groups, the Prime Minister said such people should be made equal partners in the developmental process.

"We propose to amend the Persons with Disabilities Act in consultation with states so as to bring it in line with the UN Convention (on Rights of Persons with Disabilities)," he said.

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