The Delhi High Court today asked the CBI to ascertain whether 'chinki', a derogatory term used against those from the Northeast, has been notified as a casteist remark in the law on scheduled castes and tribes.
The Delhi High Court today asked the CBI to ascertain whether ‘chinki’, a derogatory term used against those from the Northeast, has been notified as a casteist remark in the law on scheduled castes and tribes. Justice Anu Malhotra tasked the CBI to find out whether any such notification has been issued, after it was informed by a counsel that as per a RTI response, no such notification has been ever issued by any public authority. “CBI may ascertain the said aspect and also if any notification was issued in this regard at any stage. Also check if it is retrospective,” the court said.
The issue cropped up during the hearing of two pleas by the CBI and the father of northeast student Nido Tania, who was killed in 2014 after being allegedly beaten up by some persons at Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi, challenging a trial court’s decision to drop the charges under the SC/ST Act against the accused.
During the hearing, CBI prosecutor Rajdipa Behura said as per the statement of eye witness, the accused had used casteist words including, “chinki”, to call the victim. When the court sought to know if there was any notification of this word under the SC/SC (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the counsel for the accused said as per a RTI reply given to him, there was no such notification.
The high court had in January 2015, sought the response of four adult accused Farman, Pawan, Sundar Singh and Sunny Uppal on Tania’s father Nido Pavitra’s plea against the trial court order. The CBI has also filed a similar petition in the matter. While Farman is in jail, the other three accused are out on bail and the trial is at the concluding stage.
The plea filed by Pavitra, a Congress MLA from Arunachal Pradesh, has sought quashing of the September 25, 2014, order of the sessions court which had held that no charge could be framed against the accused under the relevant provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
It had said the trial court had adopted wrong interpretation of the law and had refused to frame charges against the accused under the provisions of SC/ST Act “despite the fact that the entire assault, which resulted in the untimely demise of a young man, was unequivocally and clearly motivated by the accused perceiving him as belonging to Scheduled Tribe”.
19-year-old Tania, a BA first year student of a private university here, had an altercation with some shopkeepers at the Lajpat Nagar market on January 29, 2014, after they made fun of his hair style. Following the altercation, the shopkeepers had allegedly thrashed him. He was brought dead to AIIMS the next day.