The high court directed the state to inquire into the pending cases involving atrocities on Dalits and come up with remedial measures for their speedy disposal.
A division bench of Justice BH Marlapalle and Justice ND Deshpande also questioned why the meeting of the newly set-up high-powered committee, headed by the CM, to oversee the implementation of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, had not yet taken place.
The bench raised the query after counsel for petitioner organisation, Sanghraj Rupawate, pointed out that the meeting scheduled for Wednesday did not take place. Public Prosecutor Pandurang Pol assured the panel will meet by September 30.
The bench directed Principal Secretary (Social Justice) Santosh Gavai, who has been appointed as nodal officer, to coordinate between various departments and ensure implementation of the Act and suggest remedial measures within three months. The court asked Gavai to look into the 43 cases cited by the petitioner NGO and ensure the act is implemented.
The PIL filed in 2009, highlighted poor implementation of the Atrocities Act alleging the state had not sent an annual report to the Centre in the last five years, even though it was mandatory to do so. The state, however, claimed that the reports had been forwarded to the Centre.