21 April 2022 5:07 AM GMT
The Chhattisgarh High Court recently remarked that when the offence of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 appears to be a misuse of law, the Court has the power to grant anticipatory bail. Having held that Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari granted anticipatory bail to an accused under SC/ST Act, The accused-appellant had filed an appeal under Section 14...
The Chhattisgarh High Court recently remarked that when the offence of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 appears to be a misuse of law, the Court has the power to grant anticipatory bail. Having held that Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari granted anticipatory bail to an accused under SC/ST Act,
The accused-appellant had filed an appeal under Section 14 (A) (2) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989, for anticipatory bail. The accused is involved in a crime with offences punishable under Sections 294, 323, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 (1) (r), 3 (1) (s), and 3 (2) (va) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The prosecution's case that the victim,, a Panchayat Secretary,, lodged an FIR against the appellant, who is the Up-Sarpanch. The allegation is that during a Panchayat Meeting, he made certain corrections in the proposal register of Panchayat. When the complainant objected to him, the appellant abused him in filthy language. Later, the same day, the appellant again came there and abused him in the name of his caste, grabbed his collar, and threatened to kill him in the presence of other members.
Advocate Ravindra Sharma appearing on behalf of the appellant argued that he has been falsely implicated. The FIR has been filed to pressure the appellant to withdraw the complaints lodged by the appellant regarding embezzlement of Government funds by him and others. They rely on the case of Union of India v. the State of Maharashtra, where it was held that,
"Section 18 of the 1989 Act has been enacted to take care of an inherent deterrence and to instil a sense of protection amongst the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It is submitted that any dilution of the same would shake the very objective of the mechanism to prevent the offences of atrocities. The directions issued would cause a miscarriage of justice even in deserving cases. With a view to object apprehended misuse of the law, no such direction can be issued. In case there is no prima facie case made out under the 1989 Act, anticipatory bail can be granted. The same was granted in the case in question also."
On the other side, the State counsel opposed the prayer for bail, arguing that there is a bar to granting bail under Sections 18 and 18-A of the SC/ ST Act. They relied on the case of Swaran Singh & Ors v. State through Standing Counsel, in which it was held that calling a member of Scheduled Caste' chamar' to insult or humiliate within public view is an offence under Section 3(1)(x).
Case Title: Jawed Khan v. the State of Chhattisgarh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Chh) 31
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