Protection of SC/ST Act applicable nationwide, not restricted to any particular State: BHC

The Bombay High Court (BHC), dealing with the question of applicability of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (Act), has held that the protection under the said Act can’t be limited to States where the community is officially recognised as SC/ST rather it applies nationwide. Even if a community is not recognised as SC/ST in a particular State they will still be entitled to protection against the atrocities under the Act. The BHC observed that interpretation of the term ‘in relation to that State’ used in Article 341 and 342 of the Constitution is for the purpose of affirmative action, and cannot be applied when it comes to preventing the atrocities against the SC/ST.