No ‘routine’ arrests even in crime against Dalits: HC

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Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has told police they could not arrest four people booked for assaulting a Dalit woman and her daughter without following the CrPC provisions endorsed by the Supreme Court in an order in 2014.

Though the case was registered under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as well as under IPC sections the court prevented the police from making an immediate, routine arrest.

The ruling was given by Justices Ajai Lamba and Sanjay Harkauli of the High Court’s Lucknow bench.

In 2014, the SC had endorsed guidelines on arresting the accused in the Arnesh Kumar case.

Sections 41 and 41A of the CrPC stipulate that an accused facing a jail term of up to seven years would not be arrested unless the police record elaborate reasons for the need of an arrest.

The high court ruling comes soon after Parliament passed a Bill overriding a Supreme Court judgment to prevent the misuse of the SC/ST law, particularly on arrests without a preliminary investigation.

Tuesday’s ruling was on a bail plea by a Gonda resident Rajesh Kumar and three members of his family, who were accused by a Dalit woman of abusing and assaulting her and her daughter.

The family members were booked for various penal offences besides the stringent provisions of the SC/ST Act.

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