Bombay High Court grants interim relief to the man accused under SC/ST Atrocities act

Team SoOLEGAL 31 Mar 2018 12:21pm

Bombay High Court grants interim relief to the man accused under SC/ST Atrocities act

Mumbai: Coming close on the heels of Supreme Court giving a ruling by which it struck the provision of SC/ST act for automatic arrest of person accused of casteist slur; the Bombay High Court has also come up with important ruling by which it has stated that caste related abuses have to be made in a public place for it to be an offence under the Atrocities Act. The ruling came in a case where Government Servant Sunil Madane, a Satara resident was accused of hurling casteist abuses by a neighbour.She filed a case in session court where Madane was denied anticipatory bail. He  filed an appeal against sessions court order in Bombay High Court asking for relief.

Upholding his appeal for interim protection from arrest, a division bench of Bombay High Court comprising of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Prakash Naik said, “Prima facie, on a reading of the complaint, the abuses which have been hurled at the complainant by the accused are not within public view ".

The court drew attention to  provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act that for an offence to be made out, the intentional insult or intimidation with intent to humiliate a member of a scheduled caste or a scheduled tribe should be in a place within public view.

‘It is the place which is prima face required to be within public view,” said the high court bench, adding, “(the arguments of the prosecution) that there are two eyewitnesses who have witnessed this incident prima facie would not suffice”.

The Madane case relates to prior dispute that he had with his lady neighbour. The FIR lodged in the Phaltan city police station states that Madane had allegedly accosted the woman and threatened her to withdraw the case that she had registered against him. He had then allegedly abused the woman, who belongs to the Hindu Mahar community, in the name of her caste.

Madane claims charges against him are malafide and if arrested he may even lose his job. The prosecution opposed  his plea on the ground that he had abused the woman in a filthy language and had abused her in the name of her caste. The prosecution contended that they needed to interrogate the accused in custody and recover the car used in the crime.

Tagged: SC   Bomay High Court   SC/STArtocities act  
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