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Saharanpur Riots: Former Social Welfare Principal Secretary and District Magistrate booked under sedition charges for violating provisions of SC/ST Act

Special Judge SC-ST Act VK Lal observed a clear contempt of Section-4 of the SC/ST Act and he framed sedition charges against the accused.

In a case pertaining to caste violence that had erupted in Saharanpur town of Uttar Pradesh in 2017, an SC-ST special court has booked the then District Magistrate Alok Pandey and Principal Secretary in the Social Welfare department Manoj Kumar under sedition charges for not granting the benefits to the SC victims in accordance with the provisions of the SC-ST Act, says a report published in Jagran.

Advocate Rajkumar argued that Dal Singh, a resident of Shabbirpur, had filed an application in the SC-ST Special Court that he was the victim of the caste riots. A case had been registered in this regard at the Budgaon police station.

Sedition charges framed against former DM and Principal Secretary of Social Welfare Department

Special Judge SC-ST Act VK Lal observed a clear contempt of Section-4 of the SC/ST Act and he framed sedition charges against the accused.

As per the court, three then District Magistrate Alok Kumar Pandey and Principal Secretary Social Welfare Manoj Kumar violated the legislation passed by the Parliament and issued by the President. It noted that a crime was perpetrated with a deliberate intent to harm the scheduled castes. The court has registered a case against both of them and has fixed the next date for hearing as November 19.

Benefits granted to victims not in accordance with the provisions of the SC/ST Act

A compensation of Rs 3 lakh was granted to the victim by the District Social Welfare Department but under the sections in which the case was filed, the provisions of the SC-ST Act mandated a compensation of Rs 8.25 lakh, along with dearness allowance and a monthly pension of Rs 5000. 

Besides, the provision under the SC-ST Act also guaranteed free education in government funded institutions and resident schools to the victim’s children until graduation. The current DM had written a letter to Principal Secretary Social Welfare on 17 June 2020 regarding pension and other facilities and sought guidance in this regard. But till date no reply has been received to this letter.

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