The Social Welfare Department has issued a circular stating that Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe caste certificate once issued by the Tahsildar holds valid for a lifetime, he said.
He was speaking here at the inaugural session of a three-day capacity building workshop on Dalit Rights and the Law.
Mr Thangaraj said that insistence on latest caste certificate by these institutions has resulted in an increasing number of fake caste certificate cases.
Minister for Social Welfare D Sudhakar said despite several laws and welfares schemes of the central and state governments, atrocities on Dalits continued. The Minister said Dalits have been deprived of their rights and properties and subjected to harassment due to lack of commitment among the officials in the implementation of laws. Many officials were unaware of the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989 and several circulars issues by the Department for the stringent implementation of the welfare schemes.
The officials failure to respond to the grievances of the SCs and STs was one the major reasons for their socio-economic plight. Issue of fake caste certificates, misuse of funds meant for the welfare of Dalits and irregularities in the execution of social welfare schemes need to be checked, the minister said.
Social Welfare Department Secretary E. Venkataiah said the conviction rate under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, was just 15 per cent at the national level.
S Japhet, Professor, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, NLSIU, and A Jayagovind, former vice-chancellor, NLSIU, spoke.