SC declines petition on implementation of Witchcraft Act

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.