Utilizing “extraordinary powers” granted to the Supreme Court docket, it put aside proceedings in opposition to a person convicted below the scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The court docket took under consideration that the casteist slurs had been rooted in frustration attributable to a property dispute and never the intention to demean the complainant on the idea of her caste but in addition confused that members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe “belong to the weaker sections of our nation, they’re extra vulnerable to acts of coercion and subsequently should be accorded a better stage of safety”.
The incident occurred within the 12 months 1994 within the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. Ramawatar and his neighbour Prembai acquired right into a dispute over the possession and possessory rights of a chunk of land. It took an unsightly flip when he allegedly not solely threw a brick on her but in addition used casteist slurs and made filthy remarks. The lady belongs to the ‘Prajapati’ group which is listed as a Scheduled Caste within the state.
The highest court docket used extraordinary powers below Article 142 of the Structure to put aside proceedings in opposition to the person, being attentive to a compromise between the events and “so as to keep away from the revival of healed wounds, and to advance peace and concord”. The judgment was handed by a three-judge bench of CJI NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant, and Justice Hima Kohli.
The lady had filed a case below the SC/ST Act and Ramawatar was ultimately convicted, sentenced to 6 months of rigorous imprisonment, and fined Rs. 1,000. The accused then challenged his conviction and sentence earlier than the Excessive Court docket of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur Bench however his enchantment was dismissed on August 2, 2010.
Mr Ramawatar then moved the Supreme Court docket and knowledgeable the Court docket that the matter had been settled between the events, and the lady had filed an software for compromise. The accused informed the Court docket that the events are residents of the identical village and there’s no current enmity between them. It was submitted that the events wished to settle their dispute in order that they might proceed to have cordial relations.
The order additionally mentioned that “no reduction may be given to the accused celebration” if the Courts fond “even a touch of compulsion or pressure”.
The bench took under consideration that each accused and sufferer belong to the identical social and financial strata and famous that the accused was not a repeat offender as there was no different dispute involving the accused publish the incident 27 years in the past.
“It seems to us that though the appellant might not belong to the identical caste because the complainant, he too belongs to the comparatively weaker/backward part of the society and is actually not in any higher financial or social place when in comparison with the sufferer,” the bench noticed.
Holding in thoughts the socio-economic standing of the appellant, the bench was of the opinion that “the overriding goal of the SC/ST Act wouldn’t be overwhelmed if the current proceedings are quashed”.