Fact-Check: No, the Supreme Court Has Not Recognised a ‘Brahmin Atrocities Act'
The apex court has not accepted any such petition, and the last amendment to the SC/ST Act was made in 2018.
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A text message claiming that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – popularly known as the SC/ST Act – would also apply against those “abusing Brahmin caste,” is doing the rounds on social media.
The post elaborates that the Supreme Court of India recognised a petition filed by one advocate Mukesh Bhatt, rejoicing the “big decision.”
The 1989 SC/ST Act came into being with the intention of eradicating discriminatory practices and attitudes against the SCs and the STs, as they are “subjected to various offences, indignities, humiliations and harassment” due to their castes.
However, we found no news reports or court documents corroborating the claim regarding its application against those “abusing Brahmin caste.”
The latest reports on any amendments to the provision of the Act date back to 2018, when a Supreme Court order struck down a provision mandating immediate arrest in the event of a complaint, which was later overturned by the Parliament.
The message in the claim carries text in Hindi and English, which reads –
“सुप्रीम कोर्ट ऑफ इंडिया ने दिया बड़ा फैसला. ब्राह्मण जाति के लिए अपशब्द बोलने पे अब लागू होगी एट्रोसिटी एक्ट. एडवोकेट मुकेश भट्ट के पिटीशन को सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने मान्यता दी।Supreme Court of India gave a big decision. Atrocity Act will now apply for abusing Brahmin caste. The petition of Advocate Mukesh Bhatt was recognized by the Supreme Court." (sic)
[Translation: The Supreme Court of India has made a big decision. Those speaking against the Brahmin caste will face cases under the Atrocities Act. Advocate Mukesh Bhatt’s petition was accepted in the Supreme Court.]
More social media posts with the same claim can be seen here, here and here.
The Quint received queries for the message’s verification on its WhatsApp tipline as well.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
First, we looked for news reports regarding any such Act being passed or in existence, but did not come across any.
However, we came across Hindi and Marathi news reports on there being a continual demand for an Atrocities Act to “protect” the Brahmin caste, and to prevent "misuse of the SC/ST Act."
We also saw a petition to the Supreme Court on change.org with 1,36,135 signatures, which asked for a “Bramhin atrocities act (BAA) (sic),” which would severely punish people who “targets/make fun of Bramhins community/shows negativity towards Bramhins in movies or social media (sic).”
The latest amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act came in 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down a provision requiring immediate arrest of the accused in the case of a complaint.
This was seen by many as a dilution of the Act. Consequently, the Lok Sabha passed a bill to amend the Act, restoring the provision and specifying that no preliminary enquiry would be required to register a criminal case and arrest under the law, which was also accepted by the apex court.
Evidently, the Supreme Court has not recognised or passed any judgements regarding any ‘Atrocities Act’ that calls for punishment of those who speak against the Brahmin caste.
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Topics: Supreme Court Caste Atrocity SC/ST Act
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