SC declines petition on implementation of Witchcraft Act

Last Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 20:43

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today declined
to entertain a petition seeking proper enforcement of the law
to prevent the practice of witchcraft and witch-hunting in
tribal states, the victims of which are generally women.

"We are not going to entertain this sort of petition. If
you want to pursue, you go to the High Court. We cannot
supervise. We have enough of such cases," a Bench headed by
Chief Justice said refusing the plea of a Dehradun-based
organisation seeking direction to the Centre and the state
governments for proper implementation of the Anti-Witchcraft
Acts.

The Bench was unmoved by the submission of advocate
Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the organisation Rural
Litigation and Entitlement Kendra that it was difficult for
it to approach the High Courts in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh,
Assam, Orissa, Bihar and Rajasthan.

"The organisation cannot approach the High Courts in six
states," she submitted.

The organisation had also sought a direction to the
Centre for creating a seperate fund and scheme to support the
"victims of Dayan Pratha (witchcraft)".

It approached the apex court saying that despite the
existencce of Anti-Witchcraft Acts, the states have failed to
implement the legislation in letter and spirit.

"Witch-hunt and witch-trial are being conducted in tribal
areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Orissa, Bihar and
Rajasthan. The forms of violence include torture, bodily harm,
gang-rape, sexual harm of the women who are alleged to be
witches and they are at times smeared with urine and human
excreta," the petition said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 20:43

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