Monday, November 30, 2020
Home Law Supreme Court verdict on SC/ST act and the battle of perception for BJP

Supreme Court verdict on SC/ST act and the battle of perception for BJP

The recent Supreme Court verdict in the case Dr Subhash Kashinath Mahajan versus the State of Maharashtra & others has kicked up a political storm. The court ruled that additional safeguards must be provided to civil servants before arresting them in a complaint registered under Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities), 1989. It said that the approval of an appointing authority, a non- public servant and an S.S.P is required for arresting a public servant under the act. This safeguard has been added to avoid misuse of the act against public servants.

Anticipatory bail was denied for accused under the SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) act. The verdict has also made way for an anticipatory bail to accused if there is no prima facie case. Anticipatory bail is a provision in the law that allows a person to seek a bail if he/she anticipates an arrest on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence. In its judgement [pdf] the apex court said :

83. Our conclusions are as follows:
i) Proceedings in the present case are a clear abuse of process of the court and are quashed.

ii) There is no absolute bar against the grant of anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide. We approve the view taken and approach of the Gujarat High Court in Pankaj D Suthar (supra) and Dr N.T. Desai (supra) and clarify the judgments of this Court in Balothia (supra) and Manju Devi (supra);

iii) In view of acknowledged abuse of law of arrest in cases under the Atrocities Act, the arrest of a public servant can only be after approval of the appointing authority and of a non-public servant after approval by the S.S.P. which may be granted in appropriate cases if considered necessary for reasons recorded. Such reasons must be scrutinized by the Magistrate for permitting further detention.

iv) To avoid false implication of an innocent, a preliminary enquiry may be conducted by the DSP concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the Atrocities Act and that the allegations are not frivolous or motivated.

v) Any violation of direction (iii) and (iv) will be actionable by way of disciplinary action as well as contempt.

This has raised concerns among the SC/ST community as the rate of conviction are already low under the act. They have also felt that the judgement would dilute the provisions of the act which protect the community from atrocities. This argument might have some validity. The need of the hours is to find a balance between protection of the SC/ST community from atrocities and prevent its misuse. Instead of working on a solution, the Congress party has decided to politicise the matter.

This is a purely logical debate which must be examined from the legal point of view. A group of BJP MPs belonging to SC/ST community have met the law minister and asked him to file a review petition on the matter. This issue could turn into a test of perception for BJP as well. The SC and ST community has supported the party in several elections and its support is crucial for any party to succeed in the key state of Uttar Pradesh. Any indication that the party is against their interests will turn the tide against the party.

Thus, it would seem like a catch-22 situation for BJP. While the Court has issued its judgement based on misuse of the law, BJP would also need to balance the perception battle with the logical steps that need to be taken to not only protect the interests of the SC/ST community but also curb misuse of the law.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Farmer thanks PM Modi for mentioning him during Mann Ki Baat, narrates how the passage of Farm Bills helped him

PM Modi's Mann Ki Baat speech came just as the issue has been raked up once again as ‘farmers’ from Punjab and Haryana have marched towards Delhi to protest against the farm bills.

SFJ ads appear on YouTube offering $10m support for farmers, in return, wants Sikhs to join ‘Khalistan movement’: Details

Amid ongoing farmers’ protests in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, it is evident that Khalistani supporters have hijacked the protests and now, they are running ads on YouTube

A year after quitting Congress over ‘petty politics’, Urmila set to join Shiv Sena, to be nominated as MLC

Urmila Matondkar is expected to be nominated as MLC by the Shiv Sena led Maharashtra government

Indian man proposes to his Australian girlfriend during Ind vs Aus cricket match, here is what happened next

While India's performance has been below par, netizens found happiness in the unusual proposal that became the highlight of the match.

NIA refutes claims about ‘activist’ Stan Swamy’s straw and sipper seized by agency. Read details

NIA stated that when Stan Swamy's personal search was undertaken in presence of two independent witnesses no such straw or sipper was found on him as claimed by him.

France, Germany, UK and all other countries we should boycott for using water cannon and tear gas

As a newly woke nation, we also have a moral responsibility to oppose other countries that carry out atrocities such as using water cannons on protesters.

Recently Popular

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

Who is the man in farmer protest video, lying about ‘govt snatching farmland’: Profile of an actor and Khalistan supporter

Khalistan supporter Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu has been seen spreading the lie that govt will snatch farmer's land using the new farm laws

Actor Deep Sandhu disappoints Barkha Dutt after she provides platform to ‘distance himself’ from OpIndia report that he supports Khalistan

Barkha Dutt lamented after actor Deep Sidhu refused to condemn Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and to call him terrorist on her YouTube channel

The truth about the viral picture, shared by Rahul Gandhi, where police can be seen ‘beating up’ an old farmer

Congress leaders share cunningly edited version of a video to allege brute force is being used by security officials to quell the 'farmer' protest

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

Netizens call to Boycott tax evasion accused Amrapali Jewels after it pitches Swara Bhasker as its brand ambassador, Amrapali deletes tweet

The official Twitter account of Amrapali Jewels had posted a tweet with a picture of actor Swara Bhasker endorsing its products

Farmer thanks PM Modi for mentioning him during Mann Ki Baat, narrates how the passage of Farm Bills helped him

PM Modi's Mann Ki Baat speech came just as the issue has been raked up once again as ‘farmers’ from Punjab and Haryana have marched towards Delhi to protest against the farm bills.

Rebellion inside Rahul’s Congress grows, Anand Sharma defies party line, hails PM Modi for visit to Coronavirus vaccine hubs

A day after Congress criticised PM Modi's visit to Coronavirus vaccine hubs, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has defied the party line

From support for zamindars to ‘protest will help overthrow Modi govt’: A saga of clueless people at farmer protest

A series of interview of protestors by the team of Know the Nation reveals how many of these protestors are completely clueless about why they are there

SFJ ads appear on YouTube offering $10m support for farmers, in return, wants Sikhs to join ‘Khalistan movement’: Details

Amid ongoing farmers’ protests in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi, it is evident that Khalistani supporters have hijacked the protests and now, they are running ads on YouTube

President of farmer organisation says they will block all five entry points to Delhi because Burari park is an ‘open jail’: Details

The farmers protesting against the Modi government over new farm laws have rejected Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposal for a discussion on their grievances.

A year after quitting Congress over ‘petty politics’, Urmila set to join Shiv Sena, to be nominated as MLC

Urmila Matondkar is expected to be nominated as MLC by the Shiv Sena led Maharashtra government

‘Haven’t you seen how they cry, do ‘haye tauba’: Here is what Amit Shah said, responding to Owaisi’s comment about illegal Rohingyas

Amit Shah said when he takes action against Rohingyas and Bangladeshis back, leaders like Owaisi stand against him in Lok Sabha.

Indian man proposes to his Australian girlfriend during Ind vs Aus cricket match, here is what happened next

While India's performance has been below par, netizens found happiness in the unusual proposal that became the highlight of the match.

NIA refutes claims about ‘activist’ Stan Swamy’s straw and sipper seized by agency. Read details

NIA stated that when Stan Swamy's personal search was undertaken in presence of two independent witnesses no such straw or sipper was found on him as claimed by him.

France, Germany, UK and all other countries we should boycott for using water cannon and tear gas

As a newly woke nation, we also have a moral responsibility to oppose other countries that carry out atrocities such as using water cannons on protesters.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
490,955FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe