B.Pandiarajan, member of the Act's District Monitoring Committee, said the High Court only gave directions to the District Sessions Courts to consider the advance bail petitions, not grant them.

High Court directions to the District Sessions Courts to consider the anticipatory bail petitions of the accused booked under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are often taken as grant of anticipatory bail, said the members of the District Monitoring Committee on the Act.

Interacting with former Superintendent of Police Abdul Rahoob at a seminar on the Act and cases pertaining to dowry deaths here on Saturday, one of the members of the Monitoring Committee, B.Pandiarajan, said normally the High Court only gave directions to the District Sessions Courts to consider the advance bail petitions. “But, often the court and prosecution take the directions of the High Court as grant of bail,” he said. Mr.Pandiarajan wondered why the Special Public Prosecutors did not oppose the petitions in the Sessions Courts. “Worst are the instances when mere admission of the advance bail petition by the High Court is viewed as bail granted,” he said.

Mr.Rahoob said the offence under the provisions of the Act was non-bailable. Intervening in the discussion, Superintendent of Police V.Balakrishnan said the police officials of the Social Justice and Human Rights Department should closely follow such hearings and ask the prosecution to oppose bail petitions.

To a question as to whether the police should file a case under the Act even on a fight between a man and his wife from different castes, Mr.Rahoob said the Act covered every individual who belonged to the SC/ST.

Another member of the committee, M.Thangaraj, wondered why no case was being registered against Deputy Superintendent of Police (the designated officer to handle such cases as per the Act) when they refused to register cases.

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