Origin and Background of AIDMAM

All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) is a movement initiated and promoted by NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) at the national level to focus exclusively on Dalit women. Its genesis is rooted in an attempt to address severe vulnerabilities faced by the 80 million Dalit women and girls who are socially excluded and lie at the bottom of India’s caste, class and gender hierarchies.

Our Aims

AIDMAM aims to support and strengthen Dalit women to address violence and access justice and rights through networking, enhancing skills and leadership at district and state level. AIDMAM’s objective is to Empower Dalit Women to challenge against Caste, Class and Patriarchal Norms. Support Dalit Women to liberate Dalit Women from their multi-dimensional issues.

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (PoA) Act 1989

What is the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989?

It is an act aimed at protecting the position of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes people and at preventing atrocities against them.
However, its implementation leaves much to desire.

Current situation
Despite the articles of the Constitution of India, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the SC/ST (PoA) Act 1989, the rights of Dalits still continue to be violated by dominant caste with impunity.

- Under-reporting of the cases under the Act and deterred from making complaints on atrocities
- The cases and atrocities are not registered under the appropriate sections of the Act (84% of wrong provisions)
- Delay in filing the charge sheet
- Not arresting the accused
- Filing false cases against Dalit victims (corruption of the police)
- Compensations prescribed under the Act are invariably not paid
- Investigation not done by the competent authorities
- State level and district level vigilance and monitoring committees are ineffective
- Non implementation of the statutory provisions
Beside the existence of the Act, less than one third (30, 7% of the crimes against SC/ST’s across India are registered under the Act).

Most of the time, the crimes remain pending for trial in criminal courts because of:
- Vacant judicial posts (Special Courts only set up in 133 districts out of 612 and the designated courts are already overburdened with cases other than SC/STs )
- Gaps in procedure and conduction of the trail
- Trail proceedings not conducted in a speedy manner (the cases are not conducted on a day to day basis, connected cases are not trialed in the same court, courts are waiting one from each other)
- Not fair proportion of prosecutors from Scheduled Castes
- Non appointment of Special Public prosecutors
- Public prosecutors overburden with other cases
- Public Prosecutors reluctant in filling appeals under SC/ST Act PoA 1989

Investigation phase:
- There is an absence of investigating police officers in almost 60% of the cases

Victims and witnesses:
- Witnesses not appearing in the court on scheduled date and time in 70% of cases
- Accused and victims are not appearing in 30 o 40% of cases
- Key witnesses are not involved
- No briefing to victims and witnesses by the Public Prosecutors
- No time is given to victims to get prepared

- Low budget allocation: the funds drawn by the State are not corresponding to the volume of atrocities.

So the main reasons for acquittals are:
- Compromises between the complainant and the accused
- Poor case preparation
- Hostilities between the 2 parts
- Discrepancies in evidence
- Benefit of doubt given by the courts
- Economic dependence on other caste
- Delay in framing the charge sheet
- Delay in the court proceedings

Actions to take
- Creation of special Courts which would conduct cases on a day to day basis
- Complaints should be trialed in the same court
- Provide a protection of victims during the trials, because victims are often discouraged by the police, they are menaced and not informed of the process of the trial.
- Include a new chapter in the Act focusing on the rights of victims and witnesses
- Amend the Act to explicitly bring all types and natures of negligence by public servants at various stages in their handling of the atrocity cases.

That is why creating new sections, adding new offices in the existing sections in important, as well as creating amendments for the limited purpose of this Act to cover the people who have converted to Christianity or Islam under the SC/ST PoA 1989.