All insults not offence under SC/ST Act: Supreme Court

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News: Supreme Court has ruled that all insults or intimidations to persons belonging to Dalit or tribal communities will not be an offence under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

 

Facts:

  • What was the case? The court was hearing an appeal filed by an accused booked under the SC/ST Act for allegedly abusing a Dalit woman in her house.
  • What was the judgement? The court has said that an offence will be considered under the SC/ST Act only if the insults or intimidations were intended to humiliate a member of the community, targeting their caste or tribe or if it is done in a place “within public view”.

 

Additional Facts:

  • Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989: It is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • SC/ST Amendment Act,2018: The act was amended in 2018 to insert the following provisions to the original Act:
    • Preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person.
    • The arrest of a person accused of having committed an offence under the Act would not require any approval.
    • The provisions of Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which deals with anticipatory bail shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order of any Court.