NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a person charged under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, would not be entitled toanticipatory bail and barred all courts from entertaining pleas for such relief.

A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi said pre-arrest bail could be denied if the court came to a conclusion that the a prima facie case was made out against the accused as per the FIR.

“Section 18 of the SC/ST Act creates a bar in invoking Section 438 (for anticipatory bail) of the CrPC. However, a duty is cast on the court to verify the averments in the complaint and to find out whether an offence under Section 3(1) of the Act has been prima facie made out,” the bench said.

Justice Sathasivam said, “If there is a specific averment in the complaint, namely insult or intimidation with intent to humiliate by calling the caste name, the accused persons are not entitled to anticipatory bail.”