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sc/st act: ‘SC-ST Act case can be quashed in case of fair compromise’ | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said oppression of SCs and STs by upper castes is a “depressing reality” but ruled that if a fair compromise is reached between the victim and the accused prior to conviction under the SC-ST Act attaining finality, the constitutional courts have inherent powers to quash the case, reports Dhananjay Mahapatra.
A bench of CJI N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli annulled a 1994 conviction under SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the basis of a compromise reached between the convict and the complainant.
Norms issued on dealing with SC/ST Act cases
The SC said, “The act is a recognition of the depressing reality that despite undertaking several measures, the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes continue to be subjected to various atrocities at the hands of upper castes.”
Providing guidelines to all courts on adjudicating cases under the SC/ST Act, the bench said, “Ordinarily, when dealing with offences arising out of special statutes such as the SC/ST Act, the court will be extremely circumspect in its approach.”
The CJI-led bench said, “Where it appears to the court that the offence, although covered under the SC/ST Act, is primarily private or civil in nature, or where the alleged offence has not been committed on account of the caste of the victim, or where the continuation of the legal proceedings would be an abuse of the process of law, the court can exercise its powers to quash the proceedings.”

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