29 Dec 2021 7:50 AM GMT
The Madras High Court recently quashed criminal proceedings against certain agitated laws students who had gathered outside their college since they were denied permission to celebrate the birthday of Dr BR Ambedkar in advance.The Bench of Justice G. R. Swaminathan further observed that the assembling of the law students in front of the Law College cannot constitute an unlawful assembly.The...
The Madras High Court recently quashed criminal proceedings against certain agitated laws students who had gathered outside their college since they were denied permission to celebrate the birthday of Dr BR Ambedkar in advance.
The Bench of Justice G. R. Swaminathan further observed that the assembling of the law students in front of the Law College cannot constitute an unlawful assembly.
The Case in brief
Essentially, as per the prosecution's version, on April 11, 2016, certain law students/accused assembled in front of their Law College and wanted to celebrate the birthday of Dr.Ambedkar in advance.
Since during the relevant time, the Model Code of Conduct was in force, the de facto complainant denied them the permission and thus, aggrieved by the same, the accused allegedly raised slogans and prevented public servants from discharging their duties and also caused obstruction to the general traffic.
It had been alleged that the accused also broke the photo of Dr.Ambedkar and caused damage to the tune of Rs. 150/- and therefore, for the offences under Sections 143, 188, 341, and 353 of I.P.C. and Section 7 (1) (a) of Criminal Law Amendment Act, a criminal case was registered against them.
The investigation in the matter was conducted and a final report was filed and cognizance of the aforesaid offences was also taken, the case was taken on the file and therefore, to quash the same, the instant criminal original petition had been filed.
At the outset, the Court noted that it has been held by the High Court that a First Information Report cannot be registered for the offence under Section 188 of I.P.C. by the police officer.
Further, referring to the facts of the case, the Court noted that the accused wanted to celebrate the birthday of Dr Ambedkar in advance and since the permission was denied, they appeared to have got agitated and therefore, the Court opined, this behaviour on the part of the students need not have been given a criminal colour.
Also, the Court found the stand of the prosecution that the accused threw the photo of Dr Ambedkar and caused damage as inherently improbable, as it noted thus:
"The very object of the assembly was to celebrate the birthday of Dr.Ambedkar. It is inherently improbable that they could have conducted themselves in a manner so as to sully the hallowed memory of Dr. Ambedkar."
Lastly, holding that the continuance of the impugned prosecution is not warranted, the Court quashed the proceedings and allowed the plea. The Court also said that the benefit of the order will enure in favour of the non-petitioning accused also and consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions were also closed.
Case title - S.Dinesh Kumar v. The Inspector of Police and Anr.
Click Here To Read/Download Order