The Delhi High Court has emphasized that under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, charges against a public servant can only be booked after the recommendations of the administrative enquiry.

In that context, the Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that, "It is true that the accused has no right to be heard before the registration of the FIR but the SC/ST Act is a special act and overrides the general provisions of Cr.P.C. As already noted above, proviso to section 4(2) clearly mandates that in case of public servants, the charges shall only be booked based upon the recommendations of the administrative enquiry."

Senior Counsel Vikas Pahwa, along with others, appeared for the appellant. Counsel Harshit Gahlot and Counsel Dixit appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the appellant filed an appeal under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, challenging an order passed by the Special Judge.

The complainant, alleging insult, humiliation, and threat, filed a complaint against Constable Rajini and her husband Constable Vikas Yadav over a parking dispute. An FIR was registered, and the appellant, appointed as the Investigation Officer, submitted a chargesheet against the accused. The Special Court directed the appellant to appear and take cognizance, and later, the complainant filed an application seeking a copy of the chargesheet and action against the appellant.

The appellant requested exemptions from personal appearances, citing official duties. On February 29, 2020, the appellant didn't appear, and the Court passed an order directing the registration of an FIR against the appellant under the SC/ST Act. The appellant filed the instant appeal, and a stay was issued on the order directing the FIR registration.

The Court observed that, "SC/ST Act is a special statute. The object of the SC/ST Act is to protect the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes from the commission of offences of Atrocities from the society which is also their constitutional rights. From time to time, the Parliament has amended the provisions of the SC/ST Act to make it more stringent to meet the ends of justice and allowing the participation of the complainant at every stage. On the other hand, it cannot be disputed that sometimes these provisions are misused to settle personal scores. Therefore, the Court is required to keep the balance and to act more cautiously to uphold the objective of the SC/ST Act."

It was also emphasized that directing registration of FIR is a serious issue, especially against a police officer, and that such directions cannot be issued lightly. In that context, it was further said, "The proviso to Section 4(2) of SC/ST Act is very clear in this regard, it also says that the charges mentioned in sub-section 2 of Section 4 of SC/ST Act against the public servant shall be booked on the recommendation of an administrative enquiry."

Subsequently, the impugned order was set aside, while observing that, "it will be relevant to note the scale at which a car parking dispute has been escalated to. The complainant is a practicing Advocate and the accused persons being police personnel’s are the law keepers of the society and are required to understand the importance of time of police and as well as the judicial time. I hope good sense prevails."


Appellant: Senior Counsel Vikas Pahwa, Counsels SA Siddiqui, Hriday Virdi, Nancy Shamim, Zeesham Ahmed, SS Gupta

Respondent: Counsels Harshit Gahlot, Dixit

Cause Title: Bijender Singh vs State & Anr.

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