The Gujarat government has sought the guidance of the Centre on judgments of some lower courts in North Gujarat to recover compensation paid to Dalit complainants in cases filed under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, better known as Atrocity Act.
Social Justice & Empowerment minister Ishvar Parmar said this on the floor of state Assembly while delivering his speech on budgetary demands of his department in the current Assembly session.
The issue was raised in the Assembly by Congress MLA from Dasada constituency Naushad Solanki during his speech on the budgetary demands of Social Justice and Empowerment department.
In September 2019, The Indian Express had first reported about a court in Banaskantha district passing three separate judgments ordering to recover compensation paid to Dalit complainants in cases filed under the provisions of the Atrocity Act.
Solanki referred to the judgments of courts in Banaskantha saying that while the court has passed such judgments to recover compensation paid to the victims and the state government has not filed an appeal against such orders.
In reply to Solanki, Minister Parmar said in his speech, “Regarding orders from court to recover compensation, the state government has sought guidance from the Union government as per the provisions of the Atrocity Act. And the government is working seriously on the subject.”
A number of MLAs also participated in the general discussion on budgetary demands of the Social Justice & Empowerment department.
Deputy leader of Congress in the Assembly and Danilimda MLA Shailesh Parmar demanded that a Scheduled Caste Commission should be set up in the state.
Shailesh Parmar alleged that Gujarat tops in the major states of the country in terms of rate of atrocities against Dalits.
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani raised the question of recent murder of Dalit RTI activist in Bhavnagar district and asked the government as to why the police sub-inspector against whom the deceased’s family has made allegations is yet not arrested.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA from Idar constituency Hitu Kanodiya stated that some people who want to project themselves as community leaders are disturbing the atmosphere of social harmony in the state by making a mountain out of a molehill and politicizing the issue.
He claimed that some people “blow an incident out of proportion” and “unnecessarily disturb the atmosphere”.