When the Supreme Court expressed doubt over its decision in the SC-ST case, know the whole case
The Supreme Court has cast doubt on its earlier decisions which interpreted Section 3 (2) (5) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. It was said in this judgment that this section can be imposed only when the offense is committed only on the basis that the victim was a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Tribe. The court said that if these decisions are accepted then it would be like reducing the crimes committed against the people of SC-ST. All these decisions are from the two judges’ benches.
A two-member bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah said in the judgment that the provision would continue to apply as long as the caste identity of the person is one of the basis of the crime incident. That is to know that he is from SC-ST group. The court said that if we deny the protection of section 3 (2) (5) on this basis, it would be like refusing to believe that how all social inequalities combine together to produce a result. That is, a person becomes Dalit, poor, woman and disabled – all these factors join together to create a situation which motivates the common people to commit crimes against them.
The bench, however, did not refer the issue to the larger bench as there was no evidence in the present case that the offense was committed on the basis that such a person is a member of SC or ST. The court said that in future it will be referred to a larger bench in a suitable case. At the same time, the court also found that the crime was committed in 2011, while the SC-ST Act was reformed in 2016, to which the above provision was added that the crime was committed due to the person being SC ST. Therefore, this provision will not be applicable in this case.
The court upheld the life sentence awarded by the Sessions Court of Section 376 (1) of the IPC for the conviction of raping the convicted Jamawali Patan with a young woman from birth and under Section 3 (2) (5) of the SC ST Act Revoked sentence of life imprisonment. The case is of Andhra Pradesh.
Courtesy : News Tree