Social Justice and Empowerment Department of Gujarat Government has increased the compensation amount for members of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) who have allegedly faced atrocities under the provisions of SCs & STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, commonly known as Atrocity Act.
As per the latest decision of the state government, family of a murdered bread-winner Dalit or tribal will get compensation up to Rs 7.5 lakh — an increase of 50 per cent. A decision has also been taken to similarly increase the compensation for many such categories of offences significantly.
The Atrocity Act and its rules cast a duty on the state government to provide compensation to the members of SC and ST communities in case they face any atrocity and register an FIR in this regard.
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The Social Justice and Empowerment Department of Gujarat has recently issued a fresh resolution while announcing increase in the compensation amount of various atrocities on the lines of an ordinance — The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance, 2014 — promulgated by the central government in 2014.
The resolution lists 22 kinds of atrocities for which compensation has been increased. For the most serious among the atrocities — murder, the government has increased the compensation in two categories.
The compensation for the murder of earning member of the family will be up to Rs 7.5 lakh. The compensation for the murder of non-earning member of the family will be up to Rs 3.75 lakh. The family of the deceased is mandated to get 75 per cent of the compensation amount — around Rs 5.62 lakh — after the post-morterm whereas, the remaining 25 per cent amount is given if and when the case is proved in the court of law.
Earlier, the compensation for the murder of earning and non-earning members of a family was Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh, respectively. The compensation for sexual exploitation of a woman, under the Act, has been increased up to Rs 1.8 lakh from earlier Rs 1.2 lakh.
In case of an earning member getting permanent disability due to an atrocity, he/she is eligible to get compensation of up to Rs 7.5 lakh which used to be up to Rs 5 lakh earlier. The similar maximum compensation for permanent disability to a non-earning member has been increased to Rs 3.75 lakh from earlier maximum amount of Rs 2.5 lakh.
The government resolution has also made provision of Rs 400 lakh for the compensation amount. Notably, in 2014-15, the Gujarat Government paid compensation to Dalits and tribals to the tune of Rs 4.03 crore.