After the Supreme Court’s decision in the SC/ST Act, the Dalit organizations had strongly opposed the central government in the country, after which the central government had to bring an ordinance. The upper caste people were upset with the Modi government after the ordinance was passed but the latest verdict of the Allahabad High Court has given them some relief. In fact, the Allahabad High Court has clarified that any case will be registered under the section of the SC/ST Act only if there is a strong base.
Allahabad High Court in its verdict has given directions to the DGP of Uttar Pradesh, that in any case in the UP police stations, the SC/ST Act should be imposed when there is concrete evidence, otherwise the case should be registered as normal crimes. The HC’s verdict is a positive step in stopping the misuse of this section. The Allahabad High Court took this decision when a case was registered against Neeraj Kumar Mishra, a resident of Muzaffarnagar in UP, few days ago under the section of the SC/ST act in Charathawal police station in Uttar Pradesh. Though the case was lodged under SC/ST act, the investigation revealed that this case was not of Dalit oppression. Furthermore, Neeraj Mishra challenged the matter in the High Court. On which the court issued this verdict.
There are a lot of instances where the act had been misused. In Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh, one family was deliberately implicated in nearly a dozen cases of SC / ST Act while the entire case was related to the land dispute. Not only that, a Brahmin family of Mathura’s Bhairi village had been falsely accused again and again under the SC / ST Act. A Scheduled Caste (SC) woman of the Bhairi village accused one of the members of family for the murder of her husband and received Rs 8.5 lakh compensation. However, during the course of investigation, it turned out that the woman murdered her son and trapped 6 people of the Brahmin family again. The truth came out after the investigation, but what happened with the family at that time is nothing less than a horrific dream for them. There have been many such cases in other parts of the country as well, which prove that the SC/ST Act is being misused for personal interest a number of times.
Madhya Pradesh HC Bar Association president Adarsh Trivedi has claimed (on the basis of a survey) that 75% of those who were booked under the Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 2015-2016 were falsely accused.
Not only this, the SC/ST Commission had also admitted that more than 10 percent of the cases in the commission are false. Even if hundred guilty people are spared, an innocent person should not be punished is an established theory of judiciary. This principle implies that an innocent should not be punished by mistake, but the way the SC/ST Act is being misused, many innocent people had been punished for the crimes they never did. This also affects the family related to that person, and this can weaken the trust of the general public with the judiciary and the functioning of the government.
In such a way, the Allahabad High Court’s decision is commendable and in future no innocent person will be a victim of misleading accusations borne out of personal grudge, and the person who committed the crime will be punished for his actions.