The Bombay High Court has granted Anticipatory bail to three persons accused of outraging the modesty of woman and also charged under different Sections of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The bench of Justice Vibha Kankanwadi and Justice Abhay S. Waghwase noted that merely because some sound is created by a person in his house it cannot directly be inferred that it is made with sexual intention.

In this case, the informant-woman had alleged that the accused person used to see her with ill eye or in such a manner that would outrage her modesty. She also alleged that accused persons abused her in the name of caste.

She then stated that the accused used to do acts like whistling from the terrace, making noise with the help of utensils, making different kind of sounds and continuously blowing the reverse horn of the vehicle.

She had stated that the appellants-accused pelted stones on her, as a result of which she had sustained injury to her head.

The Counsel for the accused persons submitted that the FIR that has been lodged by the informant is nothing but an act of vengeance.

The counsel further stated that the informant and her husband are desirous of purchasing the house where the accused persons are residing, however, the landlord is not willing.

Advocate N.B. Narwade appeared for the appellants-accused whereas APP A.M. Phule appeared for the State.

The Court observed that the prosecution invoked Section 3(1)(w)(i) of the Atrocities Act and in order to attract this provision the person should intentionally touch a woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste knowing that she belongs to that caste and such touch is of a sexual nature and is without consent.

The Court observed that the reading of entire FIR did not suggest that any of the appellants had touched the informant with sexual intent.

The Court also noted that the acts alleged by the informant against the appellants-accused have been committed from the house of the appellants-accused and it cannot be even prima facie inferred that it was of sexual nature.

The Court observed that the offences alleged are not prima facie attracting the provisions under the Atrocities Act.

Thus the Court set aside the Trial Court’s Order rejecting anticipatory bail plea.

Cause Title- Yogesh Laxman Pandav & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.

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