Comprehensive Rules under this Act, titled Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 were notified in 1995, which, inter-alia, provide norms
for relief and rehabilitation. These Rules had not been amended thereafter.
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Amendment Act, 2015 and 2016
Despite the deterrent provisions made in the PoA Act, continuing atrocities against the
members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) had been a cause of concern.
High incidence of occurrences of offences against members of SCs and STs also indicated that
the deterrent effect of the PoA Act was not adequately felt by the accused. It was, therefore,
considered appropriate to strengthen the Act and make the relevant provisions more effective.
Based on the consultation process with all the stakeholders, amendments in the PoA Act were
proposed to broadly cover five areas. There have been addition of several new offences and
rephrasing of existing ones. The establishment of exclusive special courts for the speedy trial of
offences of atrocities against the members of SCs and STs and specification of exclusive special
public prosecutor are provided. A new chapter relating to Rights of Victims and Witnesses is
inserted. Certain duties and responsibilities are imposed upon the State for making necessary
arrangement for protection of victims, their defendants and witnesses.
Relief amount for 47 offences of atrocities is provided for and phasing of payment of relief
amount rationalised. Relief amount is enhanced between ₹ 85,000/- to ₹ 8,25,000/- depending
upon the nature of the offence. The admissible relief is to be paid within seven days.
Investigation and filing of charge sheet is to be done within sixty days.
National Commission for Scheduled Castes
The National Commission for SCs and STs (NCSC) which was set up under Article 383 of
the Constitution in 1990 was bifurcated into two Commissions namely, National Commission for
Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes after the 89th Constitutional
(Amendment) Act, 2003. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is responsible for
monitoring the safeguards provided for Scheduled Castes and also to review issues concerning
their welfare. Functions of the NCSC as enumerated in the Article 338(5) of the Constitution are-
(a) to investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the scheduled
castes under the Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any
order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards; (b) to inquire into
specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the scheduled
castes; (c) to participate and advise on the planning process of socioeconomic development of
the scheduled castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any
state; (d) to present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may
deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards; (e) to make in such reports,
recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any state for the
effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and
socio-economic development of the scheduled castes; and (f) to discharge such other functions in
relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the scheduled castes as
the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
Relevant Website: www.ncsc.nic.in