close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Time to undo "historical injustice" to tribals: SC

Observing that it is time to undo the "historical injustice" to tribals, the Supreme Court on Wednesday rued.



New Delhi: Observing that it is time to undo
the "historical injustice" to tribals, the Supreme Court on Wednesday
rued that the one-year jail term for four persons for parading
a young Bhil woman naked in Maharashtra was too little and
wondered why the State never sought harsher punishment.

The Apex court also said the mentality of people in the
country towards tribals must change, and they must be given
the respect they deserve as the original inhabitants of India.
"The injustice done to the tribal people of India is a
shameful chapter in our country`s history," it said, observing
they are "generally superior" in character to non-tribals.

The court made these remarks while upholding a one-year
jail term awarded to four persons, including a woman, for the
"shocking" incident involving the 25-year-old tribal over 16
years ago in a village in Maharashtra.

"The parade of a tribal woman on the village road in
broad daylight is shameful, shocking and outrageous," said a
bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra.

"The dishonour of victim Nandabai called for harsher
punishment, and we are surprised that the state government did
not file any appeal for enhancement of the punishment awarded
by the additional sessions judge in February 1998," it said.

The bench also lamented that the Bombay High Court
earlier, while adjudicating the appeal by the four convicts,
had set aside their convictions under stringent Scheduled
Cases and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,
1989 on mere technicalities that the victim was not able to
produce her caste certificate.
"It is the duty of all people who love our country to
see that no harm is done to the Scheduled Tribes and that they
are given all help to bring them up in their economic and
social status, since they have been victimised for thousands
of years by terrible oppression and atrocities," the court
said upset by the injustice meted out to the Bhil woman.

"The injustice done to the tribal people of India is a
shameful chapter in our country`s history," said the bench,
adding, "The tribals were called `rakshas` (demons), `asuras`,
and what not.

"They were slaughtered in large numbers and the
survivors and their descendants were degraded, humiliated, and
all kinds of atrocities inflicted on them for centuries.

Despite this horrible oppression on them, the tribals
of India have generally retained a higher level of ethics than
the non-tribals in our country. They normally do not cheat,
do not tell lies, and do other misdeeds which many non-tribals
do," the bench said.

"They are generally superior in character to the
non-tribals. It is time now to undo the historical injustice
to them," the court said.

The incident dates back to 1994, when the Bhil woman
was assaulted and paraded naked by four of her co-villagers -
Kailash, Balu, Subhash and Subhadra, for having a relation
with one of their family members, Vikram, who was also the
father of Nandabai`s daughter.

The four had assaulted her and paraded her naked to
drive her out of the village as they wanted to get Vikram
married to some other girl of their own caste.

PTI

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions

trending

photo gallery

video

DNA EXCLUSIVES

Articles of national discontent

'Fear also teaches us and makes us alert'

Tale of greed in the world of climate finances

Trade ties and Chinese threat bring India, Taiwan closer

British India’s association with chattel slavery