The Supreme Court has observed that mere act of abusing a person in filthy language does not satisfy the ingredients of the offence of Criminal Intimidation (Section 506 IPC).
The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph was concerned with an appeal filed by one Vikram Johar against the High Court and the Trial Court orders refusing to discharge him from a criminal case.
The complaint was that Johar, with two or three other unknown persons, one of whom was holding a revolver came to the complainant's house and abused him in filthy language and attempted to assault him and when some neighbours arrived there the accused and the other persons accompanying him fled the spot.
The accused's version about the incident was that, as a surveyor he had given adverse reports regarding the fire claim of the company, and so the complainant due to annoyance and to teach a lesson to him has filed the complaint. It was urged that ingredients of offence under Sections 504 and 506 are not made out on the reading of the complaint.
The above allegation taking on its face value does not satisfy the ingredients of Sections 504 and 506, said the bench. The court also said that while considering the discharge application, the Court is to exercise its judicial mind to determine whether a case for trial has been made out or not.
Referring to Fiona Shrikhande Vs.State of Maharashtra, the bench said:
"The intentional insult must be of such a degree that should provoke a person to break the public peace or to commit any other offence. The mere allegation that appellant came and abused the complainant does not satisfy the ingredients as laid down in paragraph No.13 of the judgment of this Court in Fiona Shrikhande (supra).
It also referred to judgment in Manik Taneja vs. State of Karnataka, in which it was held that mere fact that the allegation that accused had abused the complainant does not satisfy the ingredients of Section 506.
In order to attract Section 506 IPC, the court, referring to Ratanlal & Dhirajlal on Law of Crimes, 27th Edition, said that the the prosecution must prove:
(i) That the accused threatened some person. (ii) That such threat consisted of some injury to his person, reputation or property; or to the person, reputation or property of some one in whom he was interested; (iii) That he did so with intent to cause alarm to that person; or to cause that person to do any act which he was not legally bound to do, or omit to do any act which he was legally entitled to do as a means of avoiding the execution of such threat.
Allowing the appeal, the bench discharged Johar.