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Gwalior court orders action against cop for violating guidelines on SC\ST act

The policeman allegedly violated the recent guidelines of the Supreme Court in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Atrocities) Act. The Gwalior district court ruled that all the reasons given for arresting the man accused of beating and making a caste slur were “not only insufficient but baseless”.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2018 19:02 IST
Punya Priya Mitra and Mahesh Shivhare
Punya Priya Mitra and Mahesh Shivhare
Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Gwalior
Gwalior court,SC/ST act,Supreme Court
Members of Dalit community stage a protest during 'Bharat Bandh' against the alleged dilution of SC/ST act, in Bhopal. (PTI File Photo)

A local court in Gwalior has ordered disciplinary action against a policeman for violating the recent guidelines of the Supreme Court in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Atrocities) Act, in perhaps the first such case.

The judge of the district court ruled in his order on Wednesday that all the reasons given by in-charge of Mohna police station for arresting the man accused of beating and making a caste slur were “not only insufficient but baseless”.

He refused to send him to jail and directed the Gwalior superintendent of police to take action against Prajapati.

Special public prosecutor Abhay Patil said Prajapati arrested the man after taking the permission of the Gwalior superintendent of police but did not seek the sanction of the concerned court in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.

The concerned court has the authority to decide whether the grounds on which the arrest was being made were sufficient, according to the top court’s orders.

“Apart from the SC/ST act, all the other sections under which the accused was charged were bailable, meaning the arrest was not mandatory,” Patil said.

The Supreme Court in its March 20 order issued a series of guidelines, including an end to the automatic arrest of persons accused under the ST/SC act. It laid down new directions for the police to ensure innocent people, especially public officials, are protected from false complaints under the act.

The government filed a review petition against the top court’s verdict earlier this month, pleading that the judgement diluted the act.

The police arrested Sonu alias Kasim Khan on Tuesday for beating and making a caste slur on Jagdish and presented him before special sessions judge BP Sharma on Wednesday seeking a judicial remand.

The 24-year-old was booked under Sections 323, 294 and 506-B of the Indian Penal Code, all bailable offences, as well as the SC/ST act.

Inspector Prajapati said in his report that he sought the superintendent of police’s permission to arrest Sonu and cited several reasons for his decision. Prajapati said the arrest was necessary to ensure a proper investigation, prevent Sonu from beating up Jagdish again and destroying evidence.

He also said there were chances of a communal tension as the accused and the victim belonged to different communities.

Caste tensions are high in the Gwalior-Chambal region, which witnessed large-scale violence during a Bharat Bandh by Dalit organisations on April 2 against the Supreme Court’s March order. Eight people lost their lives in the violence.

The Dalits alleged the court’s ruling diluted the legislation meant to protect marginalised communities from abuse and discrimination.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 19:02 IST