Complainant Was Abused Inside His House And Not In Public Place Hence No Offence Is Substantiated Under SC/ST Act: Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench, noted that since the alleged abuse incident occurred inside the Complainant’s house and therefore, no offence for public humiliation under Section 3(1)(Da)(Dha) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act) could be substantiated.
The Court allowed a Criminal Appeal filed by the Accused challenging the judgment and order of the Special Court, wherein the bail application was denied.
Justice Shamim Ahmed observed, “Considering the averments made in the affidavit filed in support of the appeal as well as submissions made by learned A.G.A. for the State and going through the contents of the impugned order passed by the trial court dated 22.08.2023 and the contents of the F.I.R., as the alleged incident took place inside the house of the complainant and not in the public place nor there was any public view, thus, no question arose that there is any public humiliation caused to the appellant for lodging the case under Section 3(1)(Da)(Dha) of S.C./S.T. Act”.
Advocate Kirti Prakash Singh appeared on behalf of the Appellant.
Per the prosecution’s case, the Informant was asked to vacate the house where he lived on rent of Rs.5,000/- per month. The informant received the order for vacation from the officer concerned. As per the order, the one-third portion was allotted to the Appellant, wherein she was living with her family. Another one-third portion was grabbed by the Appellant illegally. The complainant asked the Appellant to pay the amount of Rs.7,02,000/- through a legal notice; however, the Appellant abused the complainant with caste-abusive language. On the date of the incident, when the Complainant was watering the plants, the Accused persons/Appellant started assaulting the Complainant and abused them in caste-abusive languages. The Trial Court also dismissed the Bail Application. A Criminal Appeal was filed challenging the judgment and order of the Special Judge.
The Court noted that the alleged incident occurred inside the complainant's house, not in a public place, and there was no public view. The Bench observed that no evidence of public humiliation was produced to substantiate the offence under Section 3(1)(Da)(Dha) of the SC/ST Act.
Furthermore, the Court referred to the cases of Prathvi Raj Chauhan v Union of India and Other; [(2020) 4 SCC 727], Gopal Mishra v State of U.P. and Others [Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No.16343 of 2020] and Hitesh Verma v State of Uttarakhand, [(2020) 10 SCC 710]. The Bench observed that the Appellant was entitled to bail under Section 18 of the SC/ST Act and, therefore, granted the request for bail.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the Appeal and set aside the impugned order and judgment.
Cause Title: Urmila Singh Chauhan v State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home, Lucknow And Another