Denotified Tribes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Denotified Tribes[1] are the tribes in India that were listed originally under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871,[2] as Criminal Tribes and "addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences." Once a tribe became "notified" as criminal, all its members were required to register with the local magistrate, failing which they would be charged with a crime under the Indian Penal Code.

The Criminal Tribes Act was repealed in 1949 and thus 'de-notified' the tribal communities.[3] This Act, however, was replaced by a series of Habitual Offenders Acts, that asked police to investigate a suspect's "criminal tendencies" and whether their occupation is "conducive to settled way of life." The denotified tribes were reclassified as "habitual offenders" in 1959.

The name "Criminal Tribes" is itself a misnomer as no definition of tribe denotes occupation, but they were identified as tribes "performing" their primary occupation. The first census was in 1871 and at that time there was no consensus nor any definition of what constitutes a "tribe". The terms "tribe" and "caste" were used interchangeably for these tribes.

Call for repeal[edit]

The UN's anti-discrimination body Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) asked India to repeal the Habitual Offenders Act (1952) and effectively rehabilitate the denotified and nomadic tribes on 9 March 2007.[4]


In 2008, the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNSNT) of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment recommended equal reservations, as available to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, for around 110 million people belonging to the denotified tribes, nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes in India.[5] Along with the tribes designated as, "Nomadic" or "Semi-Nomadic", the denotified tribes are eligible for reservation.[6][7]

List of Denotified tribes[edit]

Here are a list of tribes and castes which were listed under Criminal Tribes Act by British government in India.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List Of Vimukt Jatis (Denotifiedl Tribes) and Tapriwas Jatis". Directorate of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of Haryana. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  2. ^ Year of Birth - 1871: Mahasweta Devi on India's Denotified Tribes Archived 12 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine by Mahasveta Devi.
  3. ^ Halbar, B. G. (1986). Lamani Economy and Society in Change: Socio-cultural Aspects of Economic Change Among the Lamani of North Karnataka. Mittal Publications. p. 18.
  4. ^ Repeal the Habitual Offenders Act and affectively rehabilitate the denotified tribes, UN to India Archived 20 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine Asian Tribune, Mon, 19 March 2007.
  5. ^ Panel favours reservation for nomadic tribes by Raghvendra Rao, Indian Express, 21 August 2008.
  6. ^ Neelabh Mishra (6 October 2008). "A Little Caravanserai". Outlook. 48 (40): 14.
  7. ^ List of Castes – Maharashtra State Archived 29 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Danver, Steven L. (10 March 2015). Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues. New Delhi, India: Routledge. p. 542. ISBN 978-1-317-46400-6.
  9. ^ Pawar, S. N.; Patil, Rajendra B. (1994). Problems and prospects of development, cooperation, voluntaryism, communication, social tensions and weaker sections in rural India. Mittal Publications. p. 187. ISBN 978-81-7099-570-8.
  10. ^ Sharma, Rajendra Kumar (1998). Criminology and Penology. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 12. ISBN 978-81-7156-754-6.
  11. ^ Ibbetson, Sir Denzil; Maclagan (1990). Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province. Asian Educational Services. p. 70. ISBN 978-81-206-0505-3.
  12. ^ Bhukya, Dr Saidulu. Banjaras of Medieval Deccan: Trade, Transport and Itinerant Communities. Readworthy. ISBN 978-93-81512-80-7.
  13. ^ Hollins, Samuel Thomas (1914). The Criminal Tribes of the United Provinces. Government Press, United Provinces. p. 80.
  14. ^ Kennedy, Michael (1985). The Criminal Classes in India. Mittal Publications. p. 272.
  15. ^ "British coined criminal tribes to describe ruthless robbers | Lucknow News - Times of India". The Times of India. TNN. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]