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April 20, 2018

Supreme Court bars automatic arrest under Atrocities Act


Newsroom24x7 Network

In view of acknowledged abuse of law of arrest in cases under the Atrocities Act, arrest of a public servant can only be after approval of the appointing authority and of a non-public servant after approval by the S.S.P.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has passed an order that there is no absolute bar against grant of
anticipatory bail in cases under the Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is made out or where on judicial scrutiny the complaint is found to be prima facie mala fide.

The Supreme Court order passed on 20 March 2018 by a two-Judge Bench comprising of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit comes in response to a criminal appeal by Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan versus the State of Maharashtra against a 2017 order of the Mumbai High Court.

The Supreme Court order says :in view of acknowledged abuse of law of arrest in cases under the Atrocities Act, arrest of a public servant can only be after approval of the appointing authority and of a non-public servant after approval by the S.S.P. which may be granted n appropriate cases if considered necessary for reasons recorded. Such reasons must be scrutinized by the Magistrate for permitting further detention.

The Supreme Court has quashed the proceedings in the concerned case stating that they were clear abuse of
process of court.

The court has directed that in absence of any other independent offence calling for arrest, in respect of offences under the Atrocities Act, no arrest may be effected, if an accused person is a public servant, without written permission of the appointing authority and if such a person is not a public servant, without written permission of the Senior Superintendent of Police of the District. Such permissions must be granted for recorded reasons which must be served on the person to be arrested and to the concerned court. As and when a person arrested is produced before the Magistrate, the Magistrate must apply his mind to the reasons recorded and further detention should be allowed only if the reasons recorded are found to be valid. To avoid false implication, before FIR is registered, preliminary enquiry may be made whether the case falls in the parameters of the Atrocities Act and is not frivolous or motivated.

Click here for Supreme Court order on The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

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