The Karnataka High Court while quashing a case filed by a woman against her boss has held that sexual abuse in open places such as offices or malls is highly improbable.

The Court was dealing with a plea preferred by the petitioner against the order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate rejecting his application seeking discharge from the case for offences punishable under Sections 420 and 354(A) of the Indian Penal Code.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna said, “The places of sexual contact that is depicted in the complaint is what shocks. The places are at Mindtree office, Forum Mall-Koramangala, Barton Center-M.G.Road, all of which are open places. The petitioner sexually abusing the complainant in such open places cannot but be an allegation that is highly improbable.”

The Bench observed that neither the complaint nor the charge sheet indicate any ingredient of offence under Section 354(A) of the IPC which deals with outraging the modesty of a woman and hence, the said offence cannot be laid against the petitioner and requires to be obliterated.

Advocate Anand B.Muddappa appeared on behalf of the petitioner while HCGP K.P. Yashodha appeared on behalf of the respondents.


The petitioner/accused was working as a Delivery Center Manager in a company and the respondent/complainant was working under him. Just before the closure of the contract with the Company, the complainant registered a complaint against the accused for sexual abuse.

The counsel for the petitioner contended before the High Court that the complainant wanted to pressurize the petitioner into recommending the extension of the contract. It was further submitted that the allegations are laid against him contending that they have happened in an open place in an office or in the mall which is highly improbable.

The High Court in the above regard noted, “For an offence under Section 420 of the IPC, the ingredients as obtaining under Section 415 of the IPC must be present. The allegation of the complainant is that the petitioner has cheated and breached the promise of marriage and therefore, the offence under Section 420 of the IPC would become maintainable. This is plainly contrary to law, as breach of promise of marriage cannot become an offence under Section 420 of the IPC is the law laid down by the Apex and that of this Court in plethora of cases. Therefore, the said offence also cannot be laid against the petitioner.”

The Court said that the concerned Court ought to have considered the application of the petitioner for discharge and passed appropriate orders, in accordance with law.

“… finding no fault with the perfunctory order passed by the learned Magistrate in rejecting the application of the petitioner for discharge, I deem it appropriate to obliterate the proceedings in C.C.No.26612 of 2017 against the petitioner, failing which, it would become an abuse of the process of the law and result in miscarriage of justice”, the Court asserted.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the plea and quashed the proceedings.

Cause Title- Sameer Dinakar Bhole v. The State of Karnataka & Anr.

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