Supreme Court’s Verdict on SC/ST PoA Act

SC/ST 2015 is in news, Now a days and could be important for Mains Examination.


Current Affair 13 April 2018

Currently in News becuase.

SC/ST act currently in news as a Nationwide protest over the country, result in voilance and take lives of 9.

Recent verdics of Supreme Court on PoA is

  • Supreme Court(SC) has ruled that the new law, however, does not touch Section 18 of the original Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989.
  • SC has ruled that Section 18, which bars grant of anticipatory bail to anyone accused of violating its provisions, is not an absolute bar on giving advance bail to those against whom, prima facie, there is no case.
  • Supreme Court also ruled that a public servant can only be arrested under the SC/ST Act after approval of the appointing authority.
  • And a non-public servant can be arrested after approval by a senior superintendent of police.

Reasons for this Verdic?

  • According to SC, 15-16% of the total number of complaints filed in 2015 under the Act were false and many cases were filed to settle personal scores and harass adversaries. .
  • There were no guidlines if anyone misuse the law.
  • There are also acknowledged abuses of the power to arrest under this Act which perpetuated casteism.
  • Thus, this verdict was made to explain that interpretation of the PoA Act should promote constitutional values of fraternity and integration of society.

Impact of SC's verdict ?

  • In response of the verdic, most national and state party demanding Union Govt to file a review petition againest the verdic.
  • According to parties, Verdic made this law toothless, would result in leaving dalits unprotected against atrocities.
  • With this there was a nationalwide protest resulting in voilance and take lives of 9.
  • Dalit activist caliming that it would be difficult to Dalit Victim to get their complaints of caste-based violence and discrimination investigated.

SC/ST Act 1989 and 2015

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) PoA Amendment Act, 1989, was introduced to protect the vulnerable sections of the society. In 2015, the law was amended to cover newer forms of discrimination and crimes against Dalits and tribals.

  1. Establishment of Exclusive Special Courts and specification of Exclusive Special Public Prosecutors to enable speedy and expeditious disposal of cases.
  2. Completion of trial of the case filed under POA within two months, from the date of filing of the charge sheet.
  3. Defining clearly the term wilful negligence of public servants at all levels, starting from the registration of complaint, and covering aspects of dereliction of duty under this Act.
  4. Addition of presumption to the offences if the accused was acquainted with the victim, the court will presume that the accused was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim unless proved otherwise.
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Source: Indian Express
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