Tamil Nadu

Electricity does not know caste difference, it can attack a Dalit and a non-Dalit with equal force: HC

Wondering how provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 can be invoked in an electrocution case, the Madras High Court has said, “Electric current does not know caste difference and it can electrocute a Dalit and a non-Dalit with equal force”.

Justice P.N. Prakash said it was ‘strange’ that the Thellar police in Tiruvannamalai district had chosen to invoke the provisions of the SC/ST Act just because the victim happened to be a person belonging to a scheduled caste and was involved in catching rats and other rodents.

The judge went on to state that it was not the case of the police that the victim and the landlord had an enmity which led to the former’s death. The prosecution’s case was that the landlord had illegally electrified his property and the victim had died when he was passing through it in search of rats.

The death had occurred on September 14. The police arrested the landlord, S. Elumalai, and remanded him in judicial custody on September 15. A special court for hearing cases booked under the SC/ST Act refused to grant him bail on October 9, and hence, he filed an appeal in the High Court. Holding that the interest of justice would be served if the appellant was granted bail, the judge directed him to pay an interim compensation of ₹25,000 to the victim’s family irrespective of any other compensation to which they would be entitled to as per law.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 5:05:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/electricity-does-not-know-caste-difference-it-can-attack-a-dalit-and-a-non-dalit-with-equal-force-hc/article33180625.ece

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