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SC/ST atrocities law

SC/ST atrocities law

SC/ST atrocities law

SC/ST atrocities law

GS II: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

Why in the news?Supreme Court upholds changes to SC/ST atrocities law

  • The Supreme Court upheld a 2018 amendment which barred persons accused of committing atrocities against those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes from getting anticipatory bail.

  • But two of the judges on the Bench held in their joint opinion that a High Court would also have an“inherent power”to grant anticipatory bail in cases in which prima facie an offence under the anti ­atrocities law is not made out.

  • The two judges held that a High Court, in“exceptional cases”, could quash cases to prevent the misuse of the anti­ atrocities law.

  • The third judge on the Bench in his separate opinion, however, added a caveat to what his two companion judges on the Bench said about the use of this “inherent power” by the High Courts.

  • Stressed that the courts should take care to use this power to grant anticipatory bail “only sparingly and in very exceptional cases.

  • It should not become a norm lest it leads to miscarriage of justice and abuse of the process of law. The intention of the Parliament to protect the oppressed classes would suffer a defeat.

  • Such stringent terms, otherwise contrary to the philosophy of bail, absolutely essential, because a liberal use of the power to grant pre­ arrest bail would defeat the intention of Parliament.

  • It is important to reiterate and emphasise that unless provisions of the Act (anti ­atrocities law) are enforced in their true letter and spirit, with utmost earnestness and dispatch, the dream and ideal of a casteless society will remain only a dream, a mirage. 

  • The marginalisation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities is an enduring exclusion and is based almost solely on caste identities.

  • The judge said the express provisions of the Constitution and statutes like the Act, meant to protect the oppressed classes, underline the social or collective resolve to ensure that all humans are treated as humans, that their innate genius is allowed outlets through equal opportunities and each of them is fearless in the pursuit of her or his dreams.

  • All three judges on the Bench have upheld the constitutionality of Section 18A of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018. The sole purpose of Section 18A was to nullify a controversial March 2018, judgment of the Supreme Court diluting the stringent anti­ bail provisions of the original Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989.

  • A two ­judge Bench of the Supreme Court had in March 2018, held that there was no“absolute bar”on accused person obtaining anticipatory bail under Section 438 CrPC, “if no prima facie is made out or if judicial scrutiny reveals the complaint to be prima facie malafide”. 

 ~Source The Hindu

SC/ST atrocities law