It is necessary for the panel to meet at least twice a year.
It is necessary for the panel to fulfill at least two times a year.
The State federal government on Monday conceded prior to the Madras High Court that the State-Level High-Power Watchfulness and Keeping an eye on Committee, headed by the Chief Minister, for evaluating execution of the Scheduled Castes and Arranged Tribes (Avoidance of Atrocities) Act of 1989, did not meet even as soon as in between June 25, 2013, and September 8 this year.
In a counter affidavit filed before Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha, Adi Dravidar and Tribal Well-being Secretary Otem Dai said the meetings could not be held due to “administrative reasons”.
The judges, nevertheless, pointed out that it was necessary for the committee to satisfy at least two times a year, according to statutory guidelines framed under the Act.
They directed the government to abide by the guidelines, in letter and in spirit, a minimum of in the future and ensure that the conferences were held every January and July. The direction was released while dealing with a public interest lawsuits petition submitted by N. Panneerselvam of Coimbatore, through his counsel S. Kumara Devan, seeking a direction for convening the meetings routinely.
‘ Job carried out’
Submitting a counter to the petition, Mr. Dai said that though the committee, headed by the Chief Minister, did not satisfy for nearly 7 years, the job turned over to it was successfully carried out by the Chief Secretary and other officials, through monthly and quarterly conferences.
For this reason, the review of cases of atrocities versus the Scheduled Castes and the Set Up Tribes remained in no other way impacted.
He also brought it to the notice of the court that the State-Level High-Power Vigilance and Keeping track of Committee was reconstituted last year with the newly-elected members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and its very first conference was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on September 8.
Throughout the conference, concerns associated with the application of the Act, relief and rehab facilities provided to the victims, prosecution of cases under the Act, role of various companies in carrying out the law, and numerous reports received by the federal government with regard to the Scheduled Castes and the Set up Tribes were talked about, the court was told.
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