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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

482 Cr.P.C. - Quashing of F.I.R.-Sections 323, 506 IPC r/w 34 IPC and section 3 (1) (x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short "the Act"). - alleged that with in the house ,the accused abused by calling his caste - since house is not a public insult - F.I.R. was quashed to that extent only - partly allowed = P.Anand Rao and others ...PETITIONERS State of A.P.represented by its Public Prosecutor, A.P.High Coiurt, Hyderabad and another ..RESPONDENTS = published in judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=10605

482 Cr.P.C. - Quashing of F.I.R.-Sections 323, 506 IPC r/w 34 IPC
and section 3 (1) (x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention
of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short "the Act"). - alleged that with in the house ,the accused abused by calling his caste - since house is not a public insult - F.I.R. was quashed to that extent only - partly allowed =
whether the
ingredients constituting an offence under section 3(1)(x) of the Act are made

out in the facts and circumstances of the case?=
The undisputed facts, which emerge out from the above incident is
that the incident took place within the four walls of the house. The said fact
cannot be disputed as neither the second respondent can improve his case nor the
prosecution can get any  further material during the course of investigation in
so far as place of incident. The question would be whether the abuses alleged to
have been made by the petitioners in the house would fall within the meaning of
"public view" as defined in section 3 (1)(x) of the Act.

In BHARAT PETROLEUM CORPORATION LTD. MUMBAI AND OTHERS v.          
UNION OF INDIA, MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS AND OTHERS16 the Apex                  
Court while  dealing with quashing of FIR  in a case relating to an offence
under Section 3(1)(x) of  the Act, held as follows:
"Admittedly in the instant case the alleged offence has taken place in the
chambers of the officers where there was no public and which was not within the
public view, it does not even the contention of the 4th respondent that the
events were viewed by the public on the days mentioned by him in the complaint.
In such a situation, it would be very difficult for this Court to conclude that
even though public did not view the event, yet, it has to be treated as a
offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act.
        The intention of the Parliament is very clear
that this   insult or intimidation should have been caused in a place within the
public view.  If it is committed in any place which is not within the public
view, it would not be treated as an offence.  Otherwise, the Parliament could
have omitted the words within the public view."

 Merely because ingredients of sections 3(1)(x) of the Act are
not made  out in view of the interpretation given to the word "within public
view", it does not mean that the entire incident is false. The allegations in
the report that  the petitioners are alleged to have threatened the second
respondent with dire consequences if he gives a report, pushing him down and
abusing him by one of the accused are issues which need to be investigated. It
cannot be said that the allegations in the report are bereft of basic facts
constituting offences punishable under section 323 and 506 IPC.
37.               The Criminal Petition is accordingly allowed in part by
quashing the investigation in so far as the offence punishable under section 3
(1)(x) of the Act is concerned. However, the said petition, in so far as
offences punishable under Sections 323 and 506 IPC, is dismissed. Miscellaneous 
petitions, if any, shall stand closed.

HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE C.PRAVEEN KUMAR        

CRIMINAL PETITION NO.2786 OF 2013    

04-10-2013

P.Anand Rao and others ...PETITIONERS  

State of A.P.represented by its Public Prosecutor, A.P.High Coiurt, Hyderabad
and another ..RESPONDENTS    

Counsel for the Petitionerts:Sri.V.Hariharan

Counsel for first Respondent : Public Prosecutor
Counsel for the Second Respondent:SRI A.SatyaPrasad, Senior Counsel  
                                   representing Sri Prakash
                                   Buddarapu

<Gist:

>Head Note:


1 2012(2) ALD (CRL) 288
2 AIR 2011 SC 1905
3 2008(12) SCC 531
4 109(2004) DLT 915
5 ALLMR(CRI) 2006-0-3197
6 AIR 2009 SC 1973
7 Unreported judgment of this court dt.26-4-2013 in WP No.13577/2012
8 (2004) 1 SCC 691
9 (1992) 3 SCC 317
10 AIR 1992 SC 604
11 AIR 1960 SC 866
12 (1976) 3 SCC 736
13 (1977) 2 SCC 699
14 2011 (5) SCC 708


15 1997 Crl.L.J. 2036
16 2000(5) ALT 602
17 2003(1) ALD (CRL.)252 (AP)
18 2005(2) ALT (CRL) 401 (AP)
19 AIR 2005 SC 9


ORDER:
                This Criminal Petition is filed by A-1 to A-5 under section 482 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short "the Code") seeking quashing of
investigation in Cr. No.60/2013 of Begum Bazar Police Station, Hyderabad, which
was registered for offences punishable under Sections 323, 506 IPC r/w 34 IPC
and section 3 (1) (x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention
of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short "the Act").
 2.             The allegations in the report lodged by the second respondent are as
under:
                The second respondent who is a builder involved in several
construction projects, came into contact with a local builder by name Pilli
Ananda Rao (A-1) and his family at Visakhapatnam and did several construction
works. A-1 was chit subscriber of Margadarshi Chit Fund, Visakhapatnam Branch,
for a sum of Rs.25 lakhs. The second respondent  who was also a subscriber stood
as  guarantor No.7 to A-1. When A-1 committed default in payment of money, the
authorities at Margadarsi collected a sum of Rs.4,25,000/-  by adjusting the
chit amount of the second respondent.  After adjusting the said amount into the
credit of A-1, the second respondent demanded A-1 for repayment of the said
amount  by contacting him personally and through SMS but A-1 was procrastinating 
the same on one pretext or the other. After much persuasions,     A-1 asked the
second respondent to come to his family house at Malakunta, Hyderabad. On 10-3-
2013 at about 2 PM, the second respondent along with his two common friends,
namely, Ram Bhoopal Reddy and L. Prabhakar visited the house of the first
petitioner.  He found A-1, his wife-A-2, his brothers A-3, A-4 and      A-5 in
the house.  When asked about repayment of the money due to him, the accused   
first asked the informant to sit  and thereafter, all of a sudden, A-1 started
abusing the informant in most filthy language by saying "Ma Entiki Enduku
Vastaura Madiga Lanja Kodaka". Later A-2 and A-3 tried to manhandle the second 
respondent by uttering as "Madiga Munda Kodaku Gudda Palakotuthe Dariki Usthadu"   
and pushed him on to the floor. When the second respondent questioned their
behaviour, A-2 who is the wife of A-1 also abused the informant as "Madiga Munda
Kodukulakulanu Namma  Kodadu"  and A-5 as "Mee Madiga Mundakodukula Peddalu        
Evvaru Vachina Mayee Peekaleru". Seeing the incident, the common friends who  
were present there took the second respondent outside the house but the accused
warned the second respondent with dire consequences if any report is lodged.
Basing on these allegations, the above crime came to be registered against the
petitioners.
3.              The learned counsel for the petitioners mainly submits that  even
accepting the allegations in the report to be true, no offence under section 3
(1)(x) of the Act is made out against the petitioners as the incident did not
take place within public view.
He further submits that the present report came
to be lodged because of business disputes between the parties. He placed on
record the copies of plaint filed in OS No.77/2011 on the file of X Additional
District Judge, Anakapalli, and also order of this court in AS MP No.455/2008 in
AS No.146/2008 to substantiate his plea. He further contends that the second
respondent is due huge amount to the petitioners and in discharge of the said
debt, he issued a cheque which when presented got dishonoured and  a notice came
to be issued on 4-3-2013 which was served on the second respondent on 7-3-2013.
Immediately after service of notice, the present report came to be lodged on 14-
3-2013.
 In support of his case, he relied upon  the following judgments:
             1. V. SUDHAKAR V. R. RAM MOHAN RAO1  
    2. ASMATHUNNISA V. STATE OF A.P.2    
    3. GORIGE PENTAIAH V. STATE OF A.P.3    
    4. DAYA BHATNAGAR V. STATE4    
    5. BALU BAJI RAO GALANDE V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA5          
    6. SWARAN SINGH V. STATE6    
4.                         On the other hand, Sri A. Satya Prasad, the learned
Senior Counsel, representing the learned counsel for the  second respondent
would contend that the issue as to whether the said incident took place within
public view or not is a disputed question of fact and the same has to be
investigated by the police.
In support of his contention, he relied upon a
judgment of this court in B. SUDHAKAR REDDY V. SHO7.  He also submits that it is
impermissible for the High Court to look into the documents filed along with the
petition, as the acceptability of which is essentially a matter of trial  and
places reliance on a judgment of the Apex Court in  STATE OF M.P. V. AWADH  
KISHORE GUPTA8 in support of his plea. In view of the above, he submits that
this court cannot invoke its inherent jurisdiction under section 482 Cr.P.C.,
and stall the investigation at the threshold.
 5.                As seen above, the main ground urged by the learned counsel
for the petitioners is that even accepting the allegations in the report to be
true,  the ingredients constituting an offence punishable under section 3(1)(x)
of the Act are not made out for the reason that the incident did not happen
within public view.  Relying  upon certain documents, the counsel for the
petitioners tried to contend that the petitioners are not living in the said
house and that they were not present in the house on the date of incident and as
such the entire incident is false and concocted. The second ground urged by the
learned counsel for the petitioners is with regard to falsity of complaint
basing on voters card, marriage card, Xerox copies of flight tickets,  Xerox
copies of travelling invoices, telephone bills, sale deeds, and legal notices.
6.               The Apex Court in AWADH KISHORE GUPTA  (8 supra) held  that  at the  
stage of investigation, it is impermissible  for the High Court to look into the
materials, the acceptability of which is essentially a matter for trial. While
exercising jurisdiction under section 482 Cr.P.C., it is not permissible for the
Court to act as if it was a trial judge.  In CHAND DHAWAN V. JAWAHAR LAL9, the  
Apex Court observed that when the materials relied upon by a party are required
to be proved, no interference can be drawn on the basis of those materials to
conclude that the report is unacceptable. The Court should not act  on annexures
to the petitions under Section 482 Cr.P.C., which cannot be  termed as evidence
without being tested and proved.
7.                   In view of the judgments of the Apex Court referred to
above, the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners that the
petitioners were not present in the house on the date of incident cannot be
accepted.
8.              The  only question which remains to be considered is whether the
ingredients constituting an offence under section 3(1)(x) of the Act are made
out in the facts and circumstances of the case?
9.              As stated above, the first accused fell due a sum of Rs.4,25,000/-
to the second respondent. Pursuant to his demand, A-1 is alleged to have asked
the second respondent to come to his family house at Malakunta. When the second
respondent along with his two common friends went there, he was asked to sit
inside the house and thereafter, the accused are alleged to have abused him by
touching his caste.  At the intervention of the friends who were accompanying
the second respondent, the second respondent was brought out of the house. While
the second respondent was coming out of the house, the petitioners are alleged
to have warned him with dire consequences if any report is lodged against them.
10.             The undisputed facts, which emerge out from the above incident is
that the incident took place within the four walls of the house. The said fact
cannot be disputed as neither the second respondent can improve his case nor the
prosecution can get any  further material during the course of investigation in
so far as place of incident. The question would be whether the abuses alleged to
have been made by the petitioners in the house would fall within the meaning of
"public view" as defined in section 3 (1)(x) of the Act.
11.             Before examining the submissions of the learned counsel, it is
useful to refer to the scope of interference by this court under section 482
Cr.P.C.,
12.          The jurisdiction under section 482 Cr.P.C., though  wide has to be
exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution. In exercise of the powers, the
court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that
initiation/continuance of it amounts to an abuse of the process of court or
quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. (MINU
KUMARI V. STATE OF BIHAR=(2006) 4 SCC 359).    
13.                 The law laid down in STATE OF HARYANA V. BHAJAN LAL10, which
has been followed in several other judgments by the Apex Court, is that
interference is permissible in cases (1) Where the allegations made in the first
information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value
and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make
out a case against the accused. (2) Where the allegations in the first
information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not
disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers
under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within
the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code. (3) Where the uncontroverted
allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support
of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case 
against the accused. (4) Where the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a
cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no
investigation is permitted by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate
as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code. (5) Where the allegations made
in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of
which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is
sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. (6) Where there is an
express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the Act
concerned (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution
and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in
the Code or the Act concerned, providing efficacious redress for the grievance
of the aggrieved party. (7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended
with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an
ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite
him due to private and personal grudge.' The Apex Court further held that the
power of quashing a criminal proceeding should be exercised very sparingly and
with circumspection, and that too in  the rarest of rare cases, the court will
not be justified in embarking upon an enquiry as to the reliability  or
genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR or the complaint.
14.               The Apex Court, in a number of cases, has laid down the scope
and ambit of the High Court's power under section 482 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure. Inherent power under section 482 Cr.P.C. though wide have to be
exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution and only when such
exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in this section
itself. Authority of the court exists for the advancement of justice. If any
abuse of the process leading to injustice is brought to the notice of the court,
then the Court would be justified in preventing injustice by invoking inherent
powers in absence of specific provisions in the Statute.
15.                The law has been crystallized more than half a century ago in
the case of  R. P. KAPUR V. STATE OF PUNJAB11  wherein this Court has summarized    
some categories of cases where inherent power can and should be exercised to
quash the proceedings. This Court summarized the following three broad
categories where the High Court would be justified in exercise of its powers
under section 482:
(i) where it manifestly appears that there is a legal bar against the
institution or continuance of the proceedings;
(ii) where the allegations in the first information report or complaint taken at
their face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute the offence
alleged;
(iii) where the allegations constitute an offence but there is no legal evidence
adduced or the evidence adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the charge.
16.                 In  SMT. NAGAWWA V. VEERANNA SHIVALINGAPPA KONJALGI AND        
OTHERS12, the Apex Court held that the process against the accused can be
quashed or set aside :
(1) where the allegations made in the complaint or the statements of the
witnesses recorded in support of the same taken at their face value make out
absolutely no case against the accused or the complaint does not disclose the
essential ingredients of an offence which is alleged against the accused;
(2) where the allegations made in the complaint are patently absurd and
inherently improbable so that no prudent person can ever reach a conclusion that
there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused;
(3) where the discretion exercised by the Magistrate in issuing process is
capricious and arbitrary having been based either on no evidence or on materials
which are wholly irrelevant or inadmissible; and
(4) where the complaint suffers from fundamental legal defects, such as, want of
sanction, or absence of a complaint by legally competent authority and the like.

17.              The Apex Court in  STATE OF KARNATAKA V. L. MUNISWAMY13    
observed that the wholesome power under section 482 Cr.P.C. entitles the High
Court to quash a proceeding when it comes to the conclusion that allowing the
proceedings to continue would be an abuse of the process of the court or that
the ends of justice requires that the proceedings ought to be quashed. The High
Courts have been invested with inherent powers, both in civil and criminal
matters, to achieve a salutary public purpose. A Court proceeding ought not to
be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution. The court
observed that ends of justice are higher than the ends of mere law though
justice must be administered according to laws made by the Legislature.
18.               Section 482 Cr.P.C., itself envisages three circumstances
under which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised by the High Court,
namely,
 (1)  to give effect to an order under the Code of Criminal Procedure;
 (2) to prevent  an abuse of the process of court, and
 (3) to otherwise secure the ends of justice.

19.             These inherent powers of the   High Court are meant to act ex
debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice, for the administration of
which alone it exists, or to prevent   abuse of the process of the court.  The
exercise of inherent power would normally depend on facts and circumstances of
each case, but as held in  Sushil Suri Vs. C.B.I14 the common thread which runs
through all the decisions on the subject is that the Court would be justified in
invoking its jurisdiction where the allegations made in the complaint or charge-
sheet, as the case may be, taken at their face value and accepted in their
entirety do not constitute the offence alleged.
20.             Bearing in mind the limited scope of interference by this court to
quash an FIR, I shall now proceed to deal with rival submissions made by the
counsel.
21.             Before proceeding further, it would be appropriate to refer to
section 3 (1) (x) of the Act, which are as under:
                Section 3(1)(x) of the Act reads as under:
3 (1) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,-
 (x) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a
Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view.
22.             The ingredients of section 3 (1)(x) of the Act gets attracted where
a person who does not belong to Scheduled Castes or Schedule Tribes, 
intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate, a member of
Scheduled Castes or a Scheduled Tribes in any place within public view.  The
expression "within public view" came up for consideration before various courts
and it may be necessary to refer to few  judgments.
23.              In SWARAN SINGH V. STATE (6 supra) the Apex Court dealt with a
situation  where  the first informant, was insulted by appellants 2 and 3 (by
calling him a `Chamar') when he stood near the car which was parked at the gate
of the premises. Learned counsel then contended that the alleged act was not
committed in a public place and hence does not come within the purview of
section 3(1)(x) of the Act. After referring to the provisions of the Act, the
Apex Court opined that this was certainly a place within public view, since the
gate of a house is certainly a place within public view. It could have been a
different matter had the alleged offence been committed inside a building, and
also was not in the public view. However, if the offence is committed outside
the building e.g. in a lawn outside a house, and  as the lawn can be seen by
someone from the road or lane outside the boundary wall, the lawn would
certainly be a place within the public view. Also, even if the remark is made
inside a building, but some members of the public are there (not merely
relatives or friends) then also it would be an offence since it is in the public
view.  The Court held that one must not confuse the expression `place within
public view' with the expression `public place'. A place can be a private place
but yet within the public view. On the other hand, a public place would
ordinarily mean a place which is owned or leased by the Government or the
municipality (or other local body) or gaon sabha or an instrumentality of the
State, and not by private persons or private bodies. The Apex Court
categorically held that there is a clear distinction between the two
expressions.
24.             In   ASMATHUNNISA V.  STATE OF A.P. (2 supra), the Apex Court was    
dealing with a case where a Head Mistress in a school was informed by a
neighbour about sound pollution from the school. Representations were made to
the DEO, Hyderabad complaining about the same. Since the authorities have not
taken any action in this regard, the informant therein approached the High Court
and obtained an interim order on 3-10-1995. While the DEO was trying to
implement the interim orders, the Management of the School has created more
sound pollution.    Unable to bear the sound pollution, they invited the press
people, expressed their grievance and the same came to be published in the
Newspapers on 9-2-2006. After reading the news,  the appellant therein, ie.,
Asmathunnissa and her husband Mohd. Samiuddin went to the house of the  
informant.  In his absence, Md. Samiuddin  is alleged to have abused the wife of
the informant (R. Sridevi)   by touching her   caste and the appellant ie., Smt.
Asamathunnissa was  also alleged to have abused. One Smt. Anuradha who was  
staying opposite to the house  was  said to be an eye witness to the incident.
The offending words were made by the husband of the appellant against the
respondent.  After referring to the judgment of the  Kerala High Court in  E.
KRISHNAN  NAYANAR V. DR. M.A.KUTTAPPAN AND OTHERS15 (1997 Crl.L.J. 2036) the          
Apex Court observed that the words "in any place but within public view" would
mean that the public must view the person being insulted for which he must be
present and no offence on the said allegations would get attracted if the person
is not present at the scene as the words used in section 3(1)(x) of the Act  are
in  a place within public  view and not  public place.
25.             In V. SUDHAKAR V. R. RAM MOHAN RAO (1 supra), this court was dealing    
with a situation where the wife of the revision petitioner by name Smt. T.
Bazarmma who was working as Bill Collector  in Gram Panahcyat, Uppal Kalan, was  
having some disputes with the then Municipal Commissioner and also with some
municipal staff which led to departmental action against her  by withholding
increments, future promotion, recovery of some amounts and surrendering her
services to the Controller of Commissioner and Director of Municipal
Administration. The Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal considered her case
and issued a direction to the Commissioner, Uppal Kalan Municipality, to
continue  her in the same office. When the said order was not implemented, she
filed WP No.28148/1998 before this court and thereafter contempt case against
the municipal authorities. Ultimately, she was transferred from Sherilingampally
to Uppal Kalan by the Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration.
When Smt. T. Bazaramma approached the first respondent therein along with her
husband to submit a joining report, the revision petitioner ie., her husband
asked the Commissioner about settlement of arrears due to his wife. It is
alleged that the first respondent therein without any provocation grew wild  and
abused the complainant in  un-parliamentary  language by naming his caste in the
presence of Dr. K. Muralidhara Redy and G. Ashok Reddy. A report came to be
filed for an offence punishable under section 3 (1)(x) of the Act against the
first respondent therein.  The Police registered it as a case in Cr.No.361/1999.
But the version of the first respondent therein was that when the revision
petitioner's wife Bazaramma submitted a joining report, though  he accepted the
same and permitted her to join duty, the revision petitioner picked up
unnecessary quarrel, intimidated him and obstructed him in discharging his
public functions.  On the basis of the said allegations, he gave a report to
Uppal Police, which came to be registered as Cr.No.367/99 under sections 186 and
506 IPC against the revision petitioner.  The police investigated into both the
reports,   referred the case registered pursuant to the report of the revision
petitioner as false, but filed the charge sheet against the revision petitioner.
Further, the revision petitioner field a private complaint  before the
Additional Judicial Magistrate of First Class, East and North, Ranga Reddy
District. After committal, the said case came to be numbered as SC No.27/2004 on
the file of I Additional Sessions Judge, Ranga Reddy District. The revision
petitioner filed a private complaint, which was taken on file and was numbered
as SC No.24/2004. Pending said proceedings, the first respondent therein filed
two discharge applications, which were allowed by the learned Sessions Judge.
Aggrieved of the said orders of discharge, revisions were filed. This Court held
that if any utterances are made by the accused in the chambers which is a closed
place to which nobody has access except with the permission of the accused, it
cannot be said that the offence was committed in a place within public view. The
Court went on to add that even if it is considered that  any such utterances are
made by the first respondent it cannot be said that they were made in a place
within public view, and as such the court held that an  offence under section 3
(1)(x) of the Act was not made out against the accused.
26.                 In BHARAT PETROLEUM CORPORATION LTD. MUMBAI AND OTHERS v.          
UNION OF INDIA, MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS AND OTHERS16 the Apex                
Court while  dealing with quashing of FIR  in a case relating to an offence
under Section 3(1)(x) of  the Act, held as follows:
"Admittedly in the instant case the alleged offence has taken place in the
chambers of the officers where there was no public and which was not within the
public view, it does not even the contention of the 4th respondent that the
events were viewed by the public on the days mentioned by him in the complaint.
In such a situation, it would be very difficult for this Court to conclude that
even though public did not view the event, yet, it has to be treated as a
offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act.
        The intention of the Parliament is very clear
that this   insult or intimidation should have been caused in a place within the
public view.  If it is committed in any place which is not within the public
view, it would not be treated as an offence.  Otherwise, the Parliament could
have omitted the words within the public view."
27.          While interpreting the provisions of Section 3(1)(x) of the Act
vis--vis the object of the Act, a learned single Judge of Bombay High Court in
BALU BAJIRAO GALANDE V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA (5 supra)  observed as under:          
"...It can there be seen that the presence  of the victim, the offender and a
member of the public are the essential ingredients of the offence referred to in
clause (x) of sub-section (1) of section 3 of  SC and ST Act. It appears that
the third ingredient requiring that the offence should be committed within
public view, is included to eliminate possibility of frivolous prosecution.
While affording protection to the members of SC or ST prosecution is taken to
discourage  misuse of the  provision.
True import of the expression "within public view" will have to be ascertained
having regard to the legislature intent and the mischief sought to be cured...."
After referring to various judgments of the Bombay High Court and Delhi High
Courts,  the Court held that the expression within public view must be construed
to mean that the insult or humiliation must  have taken place in the presence of
or in the proximity of at least one  independent person.
28.               The interpretation of the word "public view"  also came up for
consideration before the Delhi High Court in  DAYA BHATNAGAR AND OTHERS V. STATE      
(4 supra), wherein the learned single Judge of the Delhi High Court while
agreeing with the earlier view expressed by a Bench of the said Court held that
the "public view" envisages  that   public persons present there should be
independent, impartial and not having any commercial or business relationship,
or other linkage with the complainant.  In fact the said judgment also holds
that the persons having any kind of close relationship or association with the
complainant would necessarily get excluded.
29.                     This Court in J. SUMANA ENDLURI ASEERWADAMMA17while          
interpreting   section 3 (1)(x) of the Act,  held that  "public place and public
view" are different. Since the incident took place in the office, it cannot be
said to be in "public view" within the meaning of section 3(1)(x) of the Act.
30.                    Basic ingredients for an offence under section 3(1)(x) of
the Act are as under: There should be intentional insult or intimidation by a
person who  is not a member of SC or ST.  Insult must be with an intention to
humiliate the member of the SC or ST. As the intent to humiliate is necessary,
it follows that the accused must have knowledge or awareness that the victim
belongs to the SC or ST, and the incident must have occurred  in any place
within the public view.
31.               There cannot be any dispute that the offence can be committed
in any place whether it is a private place or a public place but the same should
be  within the public view The requirement of "public view" can be satisfied
even if the incident takes place in a private place where the public are
present. Therefore, expression "public view" under section 3 (1)(x) of the Act
has to be  interpreted   to mean that the incident taking place in the presence
of public persons who should be the persons not having any kind of close
relationship or  association with the complainant.
32.               Therefore, the provisions of section 3(1)(x) of the Act would
get attracted  only when an alleged incident occurs in any place within public
view. In view of the interpretation given to the said provision, it can safely
be said that section 3(1)(x) of the Act gets attracted only when the incident
takes place either in a private place or in public place but the same should be
in public view.
33.             Admittedly, in the present case, the incident of abusing the second
respondent in the name of his caste took place inside the house and in the
presence of two  of their common friends. As seen from the judgment of the Apex
Court in Swaran Singh's case (17 supra), the said provision  gets attracted even
if the remark is made inside a house but should be in the presence of some
members of the public not merely relatives or friends. The presence of two
persons namely, Ram Bhoopal Reddy and L. Prabhakar in the house at the time of
incident is not challenged by the second respondent.  The said two persons are
admittedly known to both the families. They cannot be treated as members of
general public. Therefore, it can safely be held that in a case of this nature,
the ingredients constituting an offence under section 3 (1)(x) of the Act are
not made out.
34.            Relying upon a judgment of this court reported in B.SUDHAKAR
REDDY (1 supra)  learned counsel for the second respondent tried to impress upon
the court that these are all disputed questions of fact which have to be
adjudicated during the course of trial.  It is true that the learned single
Judge  of this court relying upon a judgment of this court in GOLUGURI
RAMAKRISHNA REDDY V. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH18  observed that the issue as to            
whether the incident occurred place within public view is a matter to be
adjudicated by the criminal court. In my view the said observation  has been
made taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of that case. It was
a case where the incident took place at about 9 AM when the complainant was
going to his land in  Sathamrai for agricultural work. At that time, B.Sudhakar
Reddy and his henchmen are alleged to have abused him in filthy language in the
name of his caste as "Madiga Lanja Kodukulla". The contention of the learned
counsel for the petitioner in the said case was that the incident was neither
committed in a public place nor within public view as the place of the offence
was not identifiable. Since the identity of the place of occurrence was in
dispute, this court held that the question as to whether the incident took place
within public view or not is a matter to be decided during trial.  For the
aforesaid reasons, it has to be held that the ingredients constituting an
offence under section 3(1)(x) of the Act are not made out as the incident of
abusing the second respondent took place inside the house and not within public
view.
35.             One of the grounds urged by the learned counsel for the petitioners
is that the present case came to be lodged as a counter blast to the notice
issued by the petitioners  to the second respondent. It may be true that the
petitioners might have issued a notice demanding the  second respondent to pay
money when the cheque issued by him was returned unpaid due to insufficiency of
funds. Even assuming that the petitioners  have issued a notice, no material is
placed before the court to show   that the filing of any complaint was due to
dishonour of cheque. Lodging of the report after receipt of notice cannot be a
ground to quash the proceedings. It cannot be said that the act of lodging the
report was done only with a view to wreck vengeance against the accused or with
a mala fide intention. Each case has to be decided basing on the facts and
circumstances of that case.   In ZANDU PHARMACEUTICALS WORKS LTD., V. LMD.        
SHARAFUL HAQUE19' the Apex Court categorically held that mala fide intention
cannot be a ground for quashing the proceedings under section 482 Cr.P.C.,
Similarly, OS No.1092/2005 filed by the petitioners has nothing to do with the
present case. It was a case where the petitioners along with the second
respondent were shown as plaintiffs and  AS No.146/2008 was filed against the
judgment and decree in OS No.1092/2005. In the said AS, the petitioners along
with the second respondent herein were shown as appellants and the said case was
filed against Margadarshi Chit Fund. Therefore, the issue as to whether the
present report came to be filed only because of the notice alleged to have been
sent to the second respondent and the suit filed by the petitioners along with
the second respondent and the defences available to accused during the course of
trial and the same cannot be agitated in an application under section 482
Cr.P.C.,
36.               Merely because ingredients of sections 3(1)(x) of the Act are
not made  out in view of the interpretation given to the word "within public
view", it does not mean that the entire incident is false. The allegations in
the report that  the petitioners are alleged to have threatened the second
respondent with dire consequences if he gives a report, pushing him down and
abusing him by one of the accused are issues which need to be investigated. It
cannot be said that the allegations in the report are bereft of basic facts
constituting offences punishable under section 323 and 506 IPC.
37.               The Criminal Petition is accordingly allowed in part by
quashing the investigation in so far as the offence punishable under section 3
(1)(x) of the Act is concerned. However, the said petition, in so far as
offences punishable under Sections 323 and 506 IPC, is dismissed. Miscellaneous 
petitions, if any, shall stand closed.
_____________________  
C.PRAVEEN KUMAR,J    
Dt.04-10-2013

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