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Should a petition be filed in Supreme Court seeking similar directions as in the SC/ST Act case, to

Should a petition be filed in Supreme Court seeking similar directions as in the SC/ST Act case, to prevent misuse of s.498A and the PDV Act?

Many people, including dalit leaders, have criticised the Supreme Court judgment in Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs State of Maharashtra (see online). In this judgment the Court has said that before registering an FIR under the SC/ST Act a preliminary enquiry must be held by the police to determine whether there is any prima facie case, and no arrest should be made before getting permission from the appointing authority (in case the accused is a public servant) or the SSP (if he is not), and the authority granting permission must record his reasons. Anticipatory bail can also be granted in suitable cases.

No doubt these directions are legislative in nature, and hence they can be questioned as judicial overreach. But there is no doubt that the Court's concern was genuine since the SC/ST Act is often grossly misused.

But leaving this issue aside, one doubts the efficacy of the SC/ST Act. No doubt this law was made because dalits are treated horribly in Indian society even today. But can social evils be eliminated by legislation ? If that were so, all social evils in India could be abolished by simply making a law against them. Why not abolish the caste system by making a law outlawing it ?

Many laws have been made for protection of women e.g. section 498A IPC and Protection of Domestic Violence Act. But these laws are often grossly misused, and have in fact become a weapon in the hands of estranged, cantankerous, vindictive wives to blackmail their husbands. Often FIRs are filed by them falsely implicating not just the husband but also a host of the husband's relatives e.g. his parents, aged grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins etc. The result is that the police arrests all of them, or often demand bribes for not doing so. Marriageable age sisters of the husband who are falsely implicated find it difficult to get married. The wife often blackmails by demanding a huge sum of money, and the police also often demand bribes.

I suggest a petition be filed in Court seeking similar directions as in the SC/ST Act case to prevent misuse of sec 498A and the PDV Act.


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