`TheSC/STAct­shouldbe used sen­si­bly'

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

WHO: Kan­cha Ila­iah, Dalit ac­tivist

WHAT: On June 9, the po­lice in Ker­ala's Palakkad district filed a case against Coca Cola Pvt Ltd un­der The SC and The ST (Preven­tion of Atroc­i­ties) Act, 1989. It filed the case af­ter the Eravala SC com­mu­nity al­leged that Coca Cola is pol­lut­ing wa­ter sources in the area.

WHY: This is an ab­so­lutely wrong use of The SC and The ST (Preven­tion of Atroc­i­ties) Act, 1989. The Act is meant to pre­vent atroc­i­ties against Dal­its by caste Hindu so­ci­ety. Will the Sangh Pari­var's crimes against Dal­its be stopped by this move? I don't think so. As far as the pol­lu­tion of wa­ter sources is con­cerned, we have sep­a­rate wa­ter pol­lu­tion laws to tackle that. More­over, wa­ter is a nat­u­ral re­source meant for ev­ery­body, not just Dal­its. Hence, its pol­lu­tion must be dealt only with en­vi­ron­men­tal laws. We can­not mix hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions and en­vi­ron­ment in this case. Dal­its should use the Act sen­si­bly. They should use the Act to fight cases that in­volve gen­uine dis­crim­i­na­tion.

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