Karnataka High Court: Section 15A(5) of SC/ST act wide enough to include victim’s mother as a party to the case.

In Marenna @ Marappa v. State, the single judge bench of the Karnataka High Court had allowed the mother of the victim to be included in the hearing of the accused’s bail application. The victim, a 14 year-old boy was confronted by the accused in a filthy language and was abused verbally and physically,

The accused had opposed the inclusion of the victim’s mother in the case under section 15A(5) of the SC and ST (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989 and contended that any information in the happenings of the case would be informed as per section 15A(3) to the dependants of the victim anyway.

Judge Hanchate Sanjeev Kumar of the Kalaburagi bench, hearing the case held that the interpretation of the word ‘victim’ vis-a-vis is wide enough to extend to include parents and family members. The right of audi alterm partem conferred upon the victim extends to his mother too and therefore can be made part of the bail hearings to allow her to exercise the right.

Additionally, the victim is also entitled to an advocate from the panel advocates of the District Legal Services Authority. The special courts shall ensure the entitlement of the same via directions.

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