In the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court
Crl.O.P.(MD)No. 9209 of 2017
1. The District Collector, Dindigul District, Dindigul.
2. The Superintendent of Police, Dindigul, Dindigul District.
3. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sub-Division, Palani, Dindigul District.
4. The State through the Inspector of Police, Chathirappatty Police Station, Dindigul District
Date of Judgement
27 September 2019
Hon’ble Justice Mr. N. Anand Venkatesh
Facts of the case
The petitioner, a member of scheduled community is a victim and her husband, a Christian is a defacto complainant. Based on his complaint, a FIR was filed by the respondent police u/s 294(b), 324 and 506 (ii) of IPC read with S. 3(1)(s) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2014. Post-investigation, the report was filed with the magistrate which is pending therein. A petition was also filed in the special court dealing with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Further, the petitioner of the case filed an application for compensation under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Rules, 2016 on rejection of which the present petition was filed.
The issues raised before the Hon’ble HC were:
- Whether the victim is entitled to compensation under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 2016.
- Whether the caste of a person is subjected to change after his/her marriage.
Arguments in favour of the Respondents
The counsel on behalf of respondents argued that the Dist. Collector (respondent 1) held an independent inquiry submitted that the victim was a member of Scheduled Caste by virtue of birth but she followed Christianity post her marriage and therefore is not entitled to compensation under the Act.
Arguments in favour of the Petitioner
The counsel on behalf of petitioner argued that upon investigation, the police had filed report of offences u/s 294(b), 324 and 506 (ii) of IPC read with S. 3(1)(s) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2014. The findings, of Dist. Collector, therefore, was in complete contradiction to the same and hence was solely aimed at depriving the victim of compensation.
Decision of the Hon’ble HC
The court ordered for a compensation of Rs. 1,50,000/- to the victim in accordance with the Prevention of Atrocities rules, 2016. It was held the act was brought into existence to provide remedy to the victims of SC and ST community and therefore should be interpreted in purposive manner. Further, it was held that caste is only determined by virtue of birth and is not subjected to change after marriage.
The Hon’ble HC held that the caste of a person has to be determined only based on the birth and it cannot be changed by virtue of marriage. The real test is that one should have suffered dis-abilities socially, economically and educationally. There is absolutely no material to show that the petitioner has also converted herself into a Christian. Even if the husband of the petitioner is following Christianity, that does not automatically make the petitioner a Christian and her original status, wherein, she belongs to the Scheduled Caste Community, will continue.
Edited by Sree Ramya
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje