The Karnataka High Court in an abetment to suicide case has rejected the petition filed by three accused persons who allegedly teased their colleague belonging to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community over sexual orientation. The Court said that such people must be treated with love and affection.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna said, “The deceased, in the case at hand, is the one belonging to LGBT community. The sensitivity of them being ostracized pervades in the their psyche. Therefore, such people must be treated with all love and affection and not point at the infirmity that they have no control of. If every citizen would treat such citizens with all love and care, as is done to a normal human, precious lives would not be lost.”

The Bench added that everyone of them are human beings and all are worthy of equality.

Senior Advocate Sandesh J. Chouta with Advocate Mrinal Shankar represented the petitioners while HCGP K.P. Yashodha represented the State.

Factual Background -

The petitioners challenged the FIR registered against them for the offences punishable under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code). All the three petitioners were employed in a private company and the deceased joined the services of the said company. The deceased was thereafter offered the position of Manager to which he accepted as a result of which the petitioners were involved directly with him.

The petitioners were said to have teased the deceased on his sexual orientation and he used to complain about the usage of remarks against him. Due to this, he resigned but then he withdrew his resignation and sought to re-enter the company. However, his employment remained in limbo and certain events happened between the date of his resignation and re-entry. He registered complaints to some authorities but no proper action was taken. The deceased committed suicide at last and hence, his father filed a complaint against the petitioners.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case noted, “The Apex Court, in the afore-quoted judgment, also recognizes that a person who is depressed and suffering from mental health issues could be hypersensitive. Every individual is different and different individual personality would manifest as a variation in the behavior of people and has held that quashment of the proceedings, at the stage of crime, is not a course of action that can be undertaken while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.”

The Court said that unfortunately, the precious life of a youth is lost in the case at hand, all for the prima facie allegations of pointing at sexual orientation of the deceased.

“Insofar as the submission of the learned senior counsel for the petitioners that Section 41A Cr.P.C. notices are issued despite an interim order operating in Crime No.141 of 2023 is again unacceptable. All the notices under Section 41A of the Cr.P.C., issued to other employees need not be the concern of the petitioners, as those employees are not before this Court in the present proceedings. Even otherwise, the learned High Court Government Pleader, on instructions, would submit that permission of the learned Magistrate is sought to include the offences under the 1989 Act and then only notices are issued. Therefore, the said submission also fails”, held the Court.

The Court observed that there is no warrant of interference with the registration of crime at this stage.

“… it is for every citizen to bear this in mind while interacting with sensitive people. It is necessary that every one of us introspect on this issue, after all, everyone of them are human beings and all are worthy of equality”, also said the Court.

Accordingly, the Court rejected the writ petition.

Cause Title- Malathy S.B. & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Anr.

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