Prevention of Atrocities Act - Boon or Bane

1 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2014

Date Written: July 7, 2014


In view of the increasing violence against the downtrodden people in India, the Government of India has enacted one Act to prevent against the weaker section people in the country in 1989. In India, the weaker section people are known as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Since the existence of the caste system in the country, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population are vulnerable and are untouchable. Therefore, the government of India has promulgated the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) (POA) Act in 1989 to prevent atrocities against these people. Even after two decades since the enactment of the Act, the condition of these people remains unchanged. Against this background, the present study aims at exploring the reasons for such pathetic conditions of the weaker sections in spite of the POA Act. The study also discusses whether it is boon or bane to these weaker section people. The study is based on primary data collected from 300 sample respondents, who are selected randomly, using interview schedule. The sample respondents are those who are the victims of the atrocities and approached the courts under the POA Act. The study is carried out in Andhra Pradesh of India. The study finds that most of the weaker section people in the study area are illiterates. They depend upon daily wages. They report that approaching the courts causes in losing of their earning days. As a result, they are leaving the cases in the middle. Further, the dominated castes people influence in each and every stage of the case. No one is standing besides the victims to fight against the atrocities. Therefore, most of the respondents felt it as the bane rather than boon in view of losing of income and further deterioration of their economic condition.

It is suggested that special courts should be established for speedy trials in case of atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Further, these courts should be directed to take up certain cases as suo moto as the study finds that most of the scheduled castes population due to their illiteracy and unawareness are either unable to approach the courts or unable to stand till the completion of the court proceedings. Further, it is suggested that serious offences such as rapes and murder against the weaker sections be dealt with the help of the National SC and ST Commissions and NGOs. The government should launch rigorous awareness programmes to educate the weaker section people about their entitlements through the POA Act.

Keywords: atrocities, case, advantages, disadvantages

JEL Classification: Antidiscrimination

Suggested Citation

Guntaka, Jyothi, Prevention of Atrocities Act - Boon or Bane (July 7, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Jyothi Guntaka (Contact Author)

Acharya Nagarjuna University ( email )

Nagarjuna Nagar
Vijayawada - Guntur Highway
Guntur, AR Andhra Pradesh 522510

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