Atrocities within ‘public view’ under SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) act: A critical analysis
Dr. Ashok Kumar Makkar
The legislature has used the word ‘within public view’ under section 3 (1) (x) of The Scheduled Castes and The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and section 3 (1) (r) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 instead of ‘public place’. The intention of the legislature was to cover private places also if the offence under this act is committed against the persons of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. The offence of intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view means the public is able to witness the offence committed under this act. The dictionary meaning of the word ''public'' is ''open to the people as a whole''. The dictionary meaning of the word ''view'' is vision or sight as from a particular position. Reading these two meanings together in the context of the words ''public view'', it only means that the public should have viewed the incident irrespective of the place where the offence is committed, it may be private place or public place.