Allahabad HC nixes SC/ST Act amendment barring appeals after 180 days
ALLAHABAD: A full bench of Allahabad high court on Wednesday held that a January 2016 amendment in the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Act that restrains high courts from entertaining an appeal against lower court’s orders after expiry of 180 days was ‘unconstitutional’.
The judgement has come as a big relief for all those who could not challenge a lower court’s order within 180 days as amendment to the Act had completely barred their right to challenge it after the expiry of this period.
While deciding the issue, a full bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale, Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Yashwant Varma observed: “The direct and unhindered effect of taking away the statutory right of a first appeal, which has been recognised to be an integral facet of fair procedure enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, is unconstitutional.”
In addition to it, the full bench directed the state government to forthwith initiate the consultative process for setting up special courts in the state for speedy trial of cases involving atrocities against members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and also ensure that special courts in this connection are constituted and designated within a period of eight weeks.
Furthermore, the full bench held that amendment in SC/ST Act is prospective in nature that it will be applicable in proceedings or judgments which were passed after the date of amendment, i.e., January 26, 2016 and not to old cases.
Courtesy: TOI, Oct 11, 2018