"A petition for anticipatory bail is maintainable even if the case has been registered under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 ", stated the High Court of Madras led by bench, Justice G.R. Swaminathan.
"Section 438 of Cr.PC is not the sole repository of the power to grant anticipatory bail. The High Courts are endowed with inherent powers to make such orders as to secure the ends of justice. I hope I am not indulging in quibbling or hair-splitting when I say that neither Section 18 nor Section 18 A engraft a bar against grant of anticipatory bail. They are to the effect that the provision of Section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under the Atrocities Act. Even if Section 438 of Cr.PC is not available, Section 482 of Cr.PC can very much be invoked." based on this, it was held that the court has the power to grant anticipatory bail even in cases arising under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and that the petition can be filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India or under Section 482 of Cr.P.C.
Section 482 of Cr.P.C. is filed in cases to permit the court to accept the surrender of the accused and dispose of the bail petition on the same day.
The court observed the case of Dr.Subhash Kashinath Mahajan, where the Supreme Court held that there is no absolute bar against grant of bail in cases under the Atrocities Act where either there is no case made out prima facie or when the complaint is found to be mala fide after judicial scrutiny.
"Under the Atrocities Act, arrest of a public servant can only be after approval of the appointing authority of a non-public servant after approval by the SSP which may be granted in appropriate cases if considered necessary for reasons recorded. Such reasons must be scrutinize by the Magistrate for permitting further detention."
In this case, the complainant who belongs to a Scheduled Caste alleged that the petitioners abused her by referring to her community. A complaint was filed against the petitioners under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and later found out that the complaint was false and mala fide after judicial scrutiny.