Saturday, 28 September 2019

SC and ST Atrocities Act 1989 -Important provisions

2. Definitions.—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a) “atrocity” means an offence punishable under Section 3;
[(bb) “dependent” means the spouse, children, parents, brother and sister of the victim, who are dependent wholly or mainly on such victim for his support and maintenance;
(ec) “victim” means any individual who falls within the definition of the “Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes” under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of Section 2, and who has suffered or experienced physical, mental, psychological, emotional or monetary harm or harm to his property as a result of the commission of any offence under this Act and includes his relatives, legal guardian and legal heirs;
6. Application of certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code.—Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the provisions of Section 34, Chapter III, Chapter IV, Chapter V, Chapter V-A, Section 149 and Chapter XXIII of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), shall, so far as may be, apply for the purposes of this Act as they apply for the purposes of the Indian Penal Code.

7. Forfeiture of property of certain persons.
8. Presumption as to offences.—In a prosecution for an offence under this Chapter, if it is proved that—
(a) the accused rendered 11[any financial assistance in relation to the offences committed by a person accused of], or reasonably suspected of committing, an offence under this Chapter, the Special Court shall presume, unless the contrary is proved, that such person had abetted the offence;
(b) a group of persons committed an offence under this Chapter and if it is proved that the offence committed was a sequel to any existing dispute regarding land or any other matter, it shall be presumed that the offence was committed in furtherance of the common intention or in prosecution of the common object.
12[(c) the accused was having personal knowledge of the victim or his family, the Court shall presume that the accused was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim, unless the contrary is proved.]
. Ins. by Act 1 of 2016, S. 6(ii) (w.e.f. 26-1-2016).
10. Removal of person likely to commit offence.
11. Procedure on failure of person to remove himself from area and enter thereon after removal.—
12. Taking measurements and photographs, etc., of persons against whom order under Section 10 is made.—
13. Penalty for non-compliance with order under Section 10.
[14. Special Court and Exclusive Special Court.
[14-A. Appeals.—(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), an appeal shall lie, from any judgment, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court or an Exclusive Special Court, to the High Court both on facts and on law.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of Section 378 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), an appeal shall lie to the High Court against an order of the Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court granting or refusing bail.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of ninety days from the date of the judgment, sentence or order appealed from:
Provided that the High Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the period of ninety days:
Provided further that no appeal shall be entertained after the expiry of the period of one hundred and eighty days.
[15. Special Public Prosecutor and Exclusive Public Prosecutor.
15-A. Rights of victims and witnesses.—(1) It shall be the duty and responsibility of the State to make arrangements for the protection of victims, their dependents, and witnesses against any kind of intimidation or coercion or inducement or violence or threats of violence.
(2) A victim shall be treated with fairness, respect and dignity and with due regard to any special need that arises because of the victim's age or gender or educational disadvantage or poverty.
(3) A victim or his dependent shall have the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any court proceeding including any bail proceeding and the Special Public Prosecutor or the State Government shall inform the victim about any proceedings under this Act.
(4) A victim or his dependent shall have the right to apply to the Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court, as the case may be, to summon parties for production of any documents or material, witnesses or examine the persons present.
(5) A victim or his dependent shall be entitled to be heard at any proceeding under this Act in respect of bail, discharge, release, parole, conviction or sentence of an accused or any connected proceedings or arguments and file written submission on conviction, acquittal or sentencing.
(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court trying a case under this Act shall provide to a victim, his dependent, informant or witnesses—
(a) the complete protection to secure the ends of justice;
(b) the travelling and maintenance expenses during investigation, inquiry and trial; and
(c) the social-economic rehabilitation during investigation, inquiry and trial;
(d) relocation.
(7) The State shall inform the concerned Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court about the protection provided to any victim or his dependent, informant or witnesses and such court shall periodically review the protection being offered and pass appropriate orders.
(8) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (6), the concerned Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court may, on an application made by a victim or his dependent, informant or witness in any proceedings before it or by the Special Public Prosecutor in relation to such victim, informant or witness or on its own motion, take such measures including—
(a) concealing the names and addresses of the witnesses in its orders or judgments or in any records of the case accessible to the public;
(b) issuing directions for non-disclosure of the identity and addresses of the witnesses;
(c) take immediate action in respect of any complaint relating to harassment of a victim, informant or witness and on the same day, if necessary, pass appropriate orders for protection:
Provided that inquiry or investigation into the complaint received under clause (c) shall be tried separately from the main case by such court and concluded within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the complaint:
Provided further that where the complaint under clause (c) is against any public servant, the court shall restrain such public servant from interfering with the victim, informant or witness, as the case may be, in any matter related or unrelated to the pending case, except with the permission of the court.
(9) It shall be the duty of the Investigating Officer and the Station House Officer to record the complaint of victim, informant or witnesses against any kind of intimidation, coercion or inducement or violence or threats of violence, whether given orally or in writing, and a photocopy of the First Information Report shall be immediately given to them at free of cost.
(10) All proceedings relating to offences under this Act shall be video recorded.
18. Section 438 of the Code not to apply to persons committing an offence under the Act.—Nothing in Section 438 of the Code shall apply in relation to any case involving the arrest of any person on an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act.
[18-A. No enquiry or approval required.—(1) For the purposes of this Act,—
(a) preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person; or
(b) the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any person,
against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been made and no procedure other than that provided under this Act or the Code shall apply.
(2) The provisions of Section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.]
Ins. by Act 27 of 2018, S. 2 (w.e.f. 20-8-2018).
19. Section 360 of the Code or the Provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act not to apply to persons guilty of an offence under the Act.—The provisions of Section 360 of the Code and the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (20 of 1958) shall not apply to any person above the age of eighteen years who is found guilty of having committed an offence under this Act.
20. Act to override other laws.—Save as otherwise provided in this Act, the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or any custom or usage or any instrument having effect by virtue of any such law.
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