Shantanu SB (Hk) 05 May 2022
Keertisri Sinduja 06 May 2022
The following are the relevant Acts that deal with caste based discrimination:
1. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 – Under S.2(1) (x) whoever intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view; shall be punished with imprisonment not less than 6 months extending upto 5 years along with fine.
2. The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 – Under S.5 (b) of the Act, if a person discriminates another based on his/her caste, he will be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than six months and also with fine which shall be not less than one hundred rupees and not more than five hundred rupees.
3. Indian Penal Code, 1886 – Under S.153 A of the Act, an act promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, caste, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony is punishable with imprisonment of 3 years or fine or both.
S.505 of the Act states that whoever makes statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes based on caste, religion, place of birth shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
4. Indian Medical Council Act, 1957-
Under S.24, the Council shall direct removal of a name of a person from the Indian Medical Register under pursuance of any power or any law relating to registration of medical practitioners for the time being in force in any State.
5. Code of Medical Ethics Regulations, 2002 – Under Rule 7.4, if a physician behaves in an improper way with the patient, he will be liable for disciplinary action as provided under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 or the concerned State Medical Council Act. Under Rule 7.5, he will be convicted by a Court of law for offences involving moral turpitude or criminal acts.
6. Medical Council of India (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges/Institutions) Regulations, 2009 –
Rule 5 lays down that a Medical College/Institution/University shall observe and consider ragging as a cognizable offence under the law at par with rape and other atrocities against women and ill-treatment of persons belonging to SC/ST. The Medical College/Institution/University shall take strict action and prohibit such activities. Under Rule 5.3, if the Anti-Ragging Committee of the institution can suspend a medical student from attending classes and avail academic privileges or expel the student from the institution or impose a fine between Rs.25,000 to Rs.1 lakh depending on the gravity of the offence.
Hence, in the present case, the medical student can be expelled from the University for passing caste based remarks against persons belonging to SC/ST caste. It is a form of ragging under the Act and is punishable under the Medical Council of India (Prevention and Prohibition of Ragging in Medical Colleges/Institutions) Regulations, 2009. He will attract other criminal liabilities as provided under S.2(x)(1) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, under S.5 (b) of Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 , S.153 A and S.505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1886 as stated above.