The Rajasthan High Court has directed its Registry to ensure that appeals preferred under the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are instituted only after the complainant/ victim in the case is impleaded as a Respondent-party.
The order has been passed by Justice Sandeep Mehta in view of Sections 15(3) and 15(5) of the SC/ST Act that confer on the victim/ complainant, the right to "reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any Court proceeding including any bail proceeding" and entitlement to "be heard at any proceeding under the Act in respect of bail, discharge, release," etc., respectively.
The Court was hearing an appeal under Section 14A of the Act, preferred against the order of Special Judge, whereby the bail application of the accused-appellants under Section 439 CrPC was rejected.
"The appeal of the accused under Section 14A of the SC/ST Act against an order rejecting bail cannot be decided without notifying the complainant/victim of these proceedings," the bench held.
It has directed the Appellant to implead the complainant /victim as a party respondent and has listed the matter for consideration on July 29.
Recently, the Karnataka High Court had made extensive observations with regard to right to hearing of the victim in matters relating to offences the SC/ST Act.
…Where a right of Audi Alterm Partem is conferred on the victim or his dependents, then the court has to give an opportunity/right of audience to the victim or his/her dependent to hear them as to enable them to participate in the proceedings including bail proceedings also," it had observed.
'Victim' Under SC/ST Act Includes Parents & Family Members Of Person Suffering Injuries Of The Crime : Karnataka HC
In view of the aforementioned provisions, the Karnataka High Court had issued the following guidelines:
Case Title: Shreepal Singh & Ors. v. State
Case No.: Crl Appeal No. 542/2020
Quorum: Justice Sandeep Mehta
Appearance: Advocate Deepak Menaria (for Appellant); GA Farzand Ali and PP Mahipal Bishnoi (for State)
Click Here To Download Order