In its recent, proceedings the Punjab & Haryana High Court directed the DGP of Punjab not to register FIRs under the SC-ST Act at the instance of third parties unless the District Attorney opined that the complaint falls within the scope of the SC-ST Act.
As per the Bench of Justice Arvind Sangwan getting a legal opinion is now mandatory. He further observed that the so-called activists were misusing the SC-ST Act.
In this case, the police had booked a couple for allegedly using derogatory terms on a call against the caste of a girl who later became her daughter-in-law. The couple applied for bail u/s 3(1)x of the SC-ST Act.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the accused had disowned their son in 2016 because he used to maltreat them much before he got married to the girl.
It was further stated that the son uploaded a call recording of the incident on social media to get the couple’s house and three persons from Jalandhar, who claimed to be social activists got the FIR registered. It is further argued that the informants cannot be considered victims in this case.
The Court noted that there was an ongoing dispute between the parents and the son and the accused had disowned him in 2016. The Court further said that the informants, in this case, cannot be considered the victim u/s Section 2(1)(ec) of the SC/ST Act.
Accordingly, the Court granted anticipatory bail to the petitioners and allowed the appeal. subsequently, the Court directed the Director-General of Police, Punjab that no FIR will be registered under the SC-ST Act at the instance of third parties unless an opinion is sought from the District Attorney (Legal).