Supreme Court upholds changes to SC/ST atrocities law
- Supreme Court upheld a 2018 amendment which barred persons accused of committing atrocities against those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes from getting anticipatory bail.
From Prelims point of view:
Various forms of atrocities against SC/ST
Caste clashes: Tensions caused between upper castes and Dalits due to the perceived upward mobility of Dalits.
Cow Vigilantism: Dalits and Muslims are at the receiving end of this vigilantism.
Honour Killing: extreme form of Moral Policing. (Fear of losing the caste status which brings them several benefits, people often commit this heinous crime when their son or daughter marry someone from outside their caste)
Social boycott: Khap panchayat/caste panchayat ostracizing Dalits them from society.(Law Commission drafted the Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances) Bill, 2011 that sought to declare khap panchayats unlawful).
Manual scavenging: Manual scavenging is linked to a caste system where the so-called low castes were expected to perform this job.
Constitutional provisions against SC/ST atrocities:
Article 17 of the constitution prohibits the practice of untouchability.
Article 46 promotes the educational and economic interests of SCs, STs, and other weaker sections of the society and protects them from social injustice and exploitation.
Article 338 – National Commission for Scheduled Castes
- Investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the SCs and to evaluate their working.
- Inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the SCs.
338-A – National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
*Mains perspective will be covered in Mains section