Supreme Court Uses "Extraordinary Power" To Acquit Man in SC/ST Act Case
Polity & Governance
8th Nov, 2021
Using "extraordinary powers" granted to the Supreme Court, it set aside proceedings against a man convicted under the scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
What is SC/ST Act?
- The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, or the SC/ST Act protects the marginalised communities against discrimination and atrocities.
- Popularly known as POA, the SC/ST Act, was enacted on September 9, 1989.
- The Act lists 22 offences relating to various patterns or behaviours inflicting criminal offences and breaking the self-respect and esteem of the scheduled castes and tribes community.
- This includes denial of economic, democratic and social rights, discrimination, exploitation and abuse of the legal process.
- Objective: To deliver justice to marginalised through proactive efforts, giving them a life of dignity, self-esteem and a life without fear, violence or suppression from the dominant castes.
- The case, dating back to 1994, pertained to a clash between two neighbours – Ramawatar and Prembai – over a land dispute in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh.
- In the heat of the moment, Ramawatar had thrown a brick at Prembai and used casteist slurs and derogatory remarks at her.
SC’s Extraordinary Power
- Supreme Court uses extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.
- Article 142 of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court with extraordinary or absolute powers to pass any decree to ensure the delivery of “complete justice”.
- The provision is usually used in cases involving human rights and environmental protection.