Reporting of atrocities committed against Scheduled Castes under the SC/ST POA Act
An experimental effort at mining publicly available information such as statistics and figures, from official sources, has been made to map the trends across the country and with particular reference to the States where the most number of crimes have been reported under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST POA Act) in the last decade. SCs and STs belong to the most marginalised and underdeveloped and disempowered segments of Indian society. Thanks to the implementation of the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) instituted by the Central Government in 2012, all ministries and departments are now required to publish datasets (statistical or other kinds of data) that they have in their possession which is not likely to cause harm to the public interest if disclosed. More than 60 departments have uploaded hundreds of datasets on the newly opened website: http://data.gov.in. The NCRB responsible for bringing out Crime in India reports every year has also uploaded its datasets related to the criminal justice system in the form of MS Excel files. The added value that these datasets bring is the convenience of conducting macro and micro level analysis of the information at the click of a few buttons. This is indeed proactive disclosure of information by government departments above and beyond the requirement of Section 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The NCRB datasets for the years 2001-2012 has been mined about the reporting of atrocities committed against members of Scheduled Castes under the SC/ST POA Act and a preliminary analysis of the trends immediately discernible. (The authors hope to work on a similar report relating to Scheduled Tribes in the near future). Please see the grahps on MS Power Point accompanying this document.
National Level Findings
· In 2001 a total of 13,113 cases were reported across the country – the highest during the 12 year period. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power during this year. The figure stood at 12,576 in 2012 when the United Progressive Alliance was in power. During the 12-year period from 2001-2012, a total of 1,22,458 cases were reported across the country.
· 2/3rds of the total number of cases reported during the period under study occurred during the years 2001, 2012, 2008, 2011, 2009, 2002 and 2010 in descending order of the number of cases (Pareto Distribution). Of these the NDA was in power only during 2001 while the UPA was in power during the remaining years.
· The total number of reported cases stood around 8,000 in 2004 when the UPA took over in the middle of the year. Since then there has been a continuing trend of increase in the number of reported cases every year. The reporting shows a significant downward trend only between 2009-2010 when the number of cases fell from around 11,400 to around 10,400. The trend showed upward movement for the remaining years up to 2012.
· The least number of crimes reported was in 2003 at 8,048 also under the NDA government- an year prior to the elections to Parliament.
Major State Level Findings
· Uttar Pradesh registered the highest number of cases amongst all States - 26,378 cases between 2001-2012. The State started with a tally of 4,885 cases in 2001 – the highest during the 12-year period when the BJP was in power. The numbers fell to 1,740 in 2012. 70% of the cases during the 12 year period in UP were reported during the years 2001, 2008, 2002, 2009, 2007, 2011 and 2012 in descending order (Pareto Distribution). 2001 corresponds to the year of the BJP regime under Mr. Rajnath Singh, current national President of the BJP. The BSP was in power during the years 2007, 2008, 2009 and the first three months of 2012 while the SP ruled for the remaining months of that year.
· Bihar reported the 2nd highest number of cases – 23,425 during the years 2001-2012. In contrast with UP, Bihar had only 513 reported in 2001 but as many as 4,436 cases were reported in 2012 – more than 860% increase. The RJD was in power during the first four-year period from 2001- 2005 (February). The JD(U) and BJP combine was in power during the years 2005 (late November) – 2012. 80% of the reported cases for the 12 year period are from the years 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2004 in decreasing order (Pareto Distribution). The JD(U) and BJP combine was in power for six of these seven years.
· The total number of reported cases more than doubled during the last year of the RJD regime in 2004 – a year before the State Assembly elections in the State. There was a significant drop in the number of reported cases during 2005 when the State was under President’s rule for a little more than 8 months. The drop was 37% as compared to the number of cases reported during the last year of the RJD regime. The number of reported cases rose by 25% during the first year of the JD(U) + BJP combine in 2006.
· Andhra Pradesh reported the 3rd highest number of cases - 15,160 between the years 2001-2012. More than 2/3rds of the cases were reported during the years 2009, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2008, 2004 and 2005 in descending order (Pareto Distribution) – all during the years of the INC with the exception of the first four months of 2004 when the TDP was in power.
· The State reported 950 cases in 2001 under the TDP regime. The number of reported cases rose to 1,244 during the 2nd year of the INC regime and reached a peak of 1,737 in 2009 when the INC was still in power. The number dipped to 801 in 2012 – also under the INC. The steepest rise in the proportion of reported crimes at almost 50% is in 2003 during the TDP regime and the sharpest decline at 45% is in 2012 under the INC regime. There is a 25% increase in the number of reported crimes in 2008-2009 – the years immediately before and after the elections which saw the INC government being re-elected.
· Gujarat reported 3,971 cases during this 12 year period – the 8th highest in the country. Gujarat registered 356 cases in 2001 while only 217 were reported in 2012. More than 2/3rds of the cases were reported in the State during the years- 2005, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2006, 2001 and 2002 in descending order (Pareto Distribution). The first six years of the Chief Ministership of Mr. Narendra Modi witnessed the most number of reported crimes. The steepest rise in the number of reported cases at 28.4% was in 2004. In 2008, the first year of the second stint of Mr. Modi’s Chief Ministership saw the 2nd steepest rise in reported crimes at 22.56%. The steepest decline has been in 2010 at 45%. In 2002 the first year of his leadership the proportion of reported crimes fell by 6.7% only.
Please see the attached MS Word document for further details. Also please pay attention to the caveats that we have explained about the quality and content of the NCRB dataset while interpreting it.
This report is jointly released by CHRI, the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights and the National Movement for Dalit Justice with Data Analytics support from S S Techpoint.
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2014/CIC/1466
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission