“Cancellation of Bail, Jurisdiction of Special Courts in cases involving SC/ST Act and POCSO offences: What MP HC held”

The Madhya Pradesh High Court lately had an occasion to explain certain aspects of the law concerning the cancellation of bail in cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act).

While deciding a matter, the High Court held that a preliminary objection made by the accused stating that the SC/ST Act did not have any provisions concerning the cancellation of bail cannot be entertained. Justice Pathak rejected this contention inter alia and stated that a victim cannot be concentrated remediless, even if the accused gets bail under Section 439 of CrPC. The Court continued to examine which provision would be applicable in matters regarding bail where the case involves both SC/ST Act as well as POCSO Act offences.

In this situation, the High Court continued to examine the bail provisions applicable in POCSO trials. Hence, it took note of Section 31 of the POCSO Act which provided that provisions of the CrPC would be applicable in trials under this Act. Given the questions of law clarified in this case, a copy of the judgment has also been directed to be placed before the Acting Chief Justice of the Court so that it may be distributed among subordinate judges for information and agreement.

The Judge made the annotations in the backdrop in submissions made by the accused in this case that he has been carrying out voluntary community service by working as an ambulance operator. Ultimately, the application to cancel the bail granted to the accused was rejected, The Judge added that another application to cancel bail may be moved if there is any grievance that the accused is actually harassing or embarrassing the victim.

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