Madras HC Grants Bail to Individuals Accused Under SC/ST Act Upon Commitment to Uphold Constitutional Values Against Untouchability

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Published on: February 19, 2024 at 12:42 IST

The Madras High Court has granted bail to three individuals accused under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The Court’s decision is contingent upon the accused individuals filing affidavits in which they pledge allegiance to the Constitution, explicitly affirming their commitment to refrain from practicing social discrimination or untouchability.

Justice M Nirmal Kumar issued a directive specifying the content of the affidavit, emphasizing the constitutional duty to serve without discrimination.

The affidavit includes a solemn pledge not to engage in social discrimination based on untouchability, either through words, actions, or any other means.

The individuals express their awareness of the abolition of ‘Untouchability’ under the Indian Constitution and vow to uphold the constitutional principles for the establishment of an unbiased and egalitarian society.

The three men sought the Court’s intervention to set aside an order from the Special Court and secure their release on bail. The complainant alleged that the appellants had discriminated against and boycotted members of the Scheduled Caste community.

The accusations included the refusal of a freezer box service, denial of a haircut, and denial of entry to a hotel based on the complainant’s caste. The complaint led to charges under Section 153(A)(1)(a) of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 3(1)(u) and 3(1)(za)(D) of the SC/ST Act.

The appellants contested the allegations, asserting that the complaint was motivated and concocted due to a misunderstanding. They highlighted their minority status as dhobis in the village, arguing that they did not exhibit dominance over the marginalized community.

Additionally, the appellants had no prior criminal record. In support of their bail plea, the accused individuals committed to filing affidavits expressing solidarity and affirming their intent to avoid any form of discrimination.

Considering that the investigation was nearing completion and the charge sheet was soon to be filed, the court inclined towards granting bail upon the submission of the pledged undertakings.

Case Title: Siva and Others v State and Another

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