18 Aug 2023 9:35 AM GMT
The Calcutta High Court has refused to quash criminal proceedings against a teacher of the Tehatta Balika Prathamik Vidyalaya, under various sections of the IPC for offences including unlawful assembly, rioting, causing injury to a public servant, etc. during ‘unauthorised’ celebrations by the school’s Muslim students on the occasion of ‘Nabi Diwas’. In directing the case...
The Calcutta High Court has refused to quash criminal proceedings against a teacher of the Tehatta Balika Prathamik Vidyalaya, under various sections of the IPC for offences including unlawful assembly, rioting, causing injury to a public servant, etc. during ‘unauthorised’ celebrations by the school’s Muslim students on the occasion of ‘Nabi Diwas’.
In directing the case registered against the petitioner to proceed towards trial, a single-bench of Justice Shampa (Dutt) Paul held:
The alleged time of occurrence as shown in the formal FIR is between 6 hrs to 16:30 hrs. The petitioner has shown by documents that on 28.01.2017 he was not present from 10.30 am onwards till 7 pm but no explanation is there for the period from 6.00 hrs (am) to 10.30 am. Case diary contains injury report in respect of the Police personnel, who sustained injuries in due course of carrying out their official duty to maintain law and order. Considering the nature of the offences alleged and materials on record, there appears a prima facie case against the petitioner to proceed toward trial.
It was submitted by the State that the petitioner, along with numerous others had allegedly caused ‘administrative and communal disturbance’ at the High School, over the celebration of Nabi Diwas by the Muslim student community of the said school.
It was further submitted that the Managing Committee, as well as Teacher in Charge of the school had objected to the celebration of Nabi Diwas, but after several meetings, no fruitful conclusion could be arrived at.
The State submitted that thereafter, on the 28th of January 2017 at around 6 am, without any permission or authorisation, some Muslim community students of the school had formed an unlawful assembly outside the school premises. It was argued that upon receipt of such information, several police officers reached the school and found that the students were attempting to forcefully celebrate ‘Nabi Diwas’ in the school premises.
State submitted that the police personnel attempted to request the students to not celebrate without attaining the requisite permission, but to no avail. Thereafter, it was argued that several outsiders entered the school and attempted to provoke the students, which was opposed by the police officers as well, who eventually succeeded in halting the festivities at about 2:30pm.
Upon stopping of celebrations, the State submitted that more outsiders once again entered the campus, and this time provoked the students as well as assaulted the police with ‘lathi’s, rods, etc.,’ leading to the police personnel sustaining various injuries.
It was submitted by the petitioner that he was innocent and not connected in anyway with the aforesaid allegations. Petitioner argued that he was only on school duty on the 28th of January between 10:30am and 1:30pm, after which he was at the Panchayat Office of the area between 1:40pm and 7:00pm, engaged in official duty.
Petitioner also submitted that another case for abetment, under Section 108 CrPC which had been filed against him, arising out of the same set of incidents had already been dismissed and that the present proceedings were an abuse of the process of law.
Upon hearing both sides, and perusing the case diary produced by the State, the Court directed the case to proceed to trial, and noted that on a prima facie glance, it appeared that the petitioner had not been able to produce an alibi for his whereabouts during 6am-10:30am on the date of occurrence, and that police personnel had indeed sustained injuries in carrying out their duty of maintaining law and order.
The revision application was accordingly dismissed.
Case: Sk. Reajul Hoque @ Sk. Riajul Vs The State of West Bengal
Coram: Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul)
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Cal) 227
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