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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Supreme Court Rejects Baseless Proceedings That Falls under SC-ST Act

According to Supreme Court, a personal civil dispute has been forcibly converted into criminal proceedings

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INDIA: In a recent development, Supreme Court of jurisdiction passed a judgment on Sunday quelling all complaints contending offences that fall under the SC (Schedule Caste) and ST (Schedule Tribe) Prevention of Atrocities Act.

According to the bench headed by Justices M.R. Shah and Krishna Murari, primarily a personal civil dispute has been forcibly converted into criminal proceedings.

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The Supreme Court took apprehension of the offences under Sections 3(1)(v) and (va) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and issued summons to the arraignment.

A person belonging to the SC Community P Bhaktavatchalam had constructed a house on an empty plot. Beside the house, a temple adjacent to the house was constructed by members of the upper caste community.

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However, the makers of the temple filed a complaint against Bhaktavatchalam, accusing his property of violating building norms and having put up unauthorized constructions on the ground and first floors.

Therefore, the person belonging to the minor community counterfiled a complaint under the SC & ST Act, stating that the temple was being constructed upon the common pathway and over the sewage and water pipelines.

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He claimed that it was done intentionally to harass him and deprive him of the peaceful enjoyment of his property only because he belonged to the SC community.

Thereby, Supreme Court’s Justice Shah said, “It appears that the parties’ private civil disagreement has been turned into a criminal proceedings. The beginning of the legal process for offences covered by Sections 3(1)(v) and (v)(a) of the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. As a result, this is only a misuse of the legal and judicial systems.”

He further added on saying, “Based on the information on file, we are confident that no case is made out, even initially, for the offences under the SC and ST Act. None of the ingredients of Sections 3(1)(v) and (v)(a) of the Act are made out.”

“Therefore, we firmly believe that the HC should have annulled the criminal proceedings in this matter in accordance with its authority under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” he concluded.

Also Read: Supreme Court Upholds Centre’s 2016 Demonetisation

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