BENGALURU: False cases filed under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, are clogging the criminal justice system and consuming precious time in various courts of law, the Karnataka high court said recently while quashing proceedings under the legislation against two brothers in a civil dispute.

Terming such cases “an abuse of the process of law”, the court said these “are required to be nipped, failing which they might burden the criminal justice system, besides becoming a harassment to the petitioners and resulting in miscarriage of justice”.
Petitioners Purushotham and Rasik Lal Patel had challenged proceedings initiated against them on the basis of a complaint lodged by a neighbour in Bengaluru’s Ramamurthy Nagar police station. Besides charges under sections of the IPC, the siblings had Section 3(2)(va) of the SC and ST legislation slapped on them.

Justice M Nagaprasanna said the case was a classic illustration of misuse of the provisions of the legislation meant to prevent atrocities on SC and ST people.
He said it would be a travesty for courts to sift through a mountain of false litigations while “genuine cases where litigants have actually suffered would be waiting in the pipeline”.

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