Only 45 cases related to caste-based discrimination and untouchability have been registered in courts in the last four years, according to a report by two rights organisations.
The report by Asian Human Rights Association and Jagaran Media shows such cases were filed in 23 districts.
Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act came into effect in 2011.
Stakeholders have expressed concern over the relatively fewer number of cases filed against such discriminatory practice despite regular media reports of such discrimination in many parts of the country.
“The discriminatory practice of excluding Dalits from all social practice is so deep-rooted that victims have not been able to speak up for their rights which has resulted in such a few number of cases in court,” said Durga Sob, founding President of the Feminist Dalit Organisation.
Sob added that punishment for those found guilty of committing the social crime is too weak to motivate the victims to spend their time and resource against the culprit.
Punishment for those found guilty of discriminating against people on the basis of caste and terming Dalits untouchables is a fine between Rs 1,000 and 25,000 or a jail sentence of three months to three years.
However, the report shows majority of cases are resolved through conciliation. In those cases in which courts decide to punish the guilty, the perpetrators tend to walk free after paying the minimum fine, the report says.