Regarding the offence under Sections 3 and 5 of the Act, it is relevant to note that the offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act can be made out if the insult or intimidation to a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe is in a public place within public view. Indeed, it is alleged in the complaint that the accused abused the 2nd respondent touching upon his community. However, nothing in the complaint establishes that the incident occurred in a public place. The incident would appear to have taken place in the residential complex of Sri Sikhara Constructions, Street No.1, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad. Thus, the incident did not occur in a public place.there is no evidence that any person witnessed the incident to consider that the offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act occurred within public view.

HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE K.G.SHANKAR      

Criminal Petition No.10914 of 2009

23-8-2012

J.Chinna @ Naresh Kumar and 2 others

The State of A.P., Rep. by Public Prosecutor, High Court of Andhra Pradesh,
Hyderabad and Yellia ... Respondent De facto Complainant

Counsel for Petitioners:  Sri A.Prabhakar Rao

Counsel for the 1st Respondent: Public Prosecutor,High Court of A.P.

Counsel for the 2nd respondent: Sri G.Ashok Kumar Reddy

<Gist:

>Head Note:

? Cases referred:
   Nil.

Order:

        The petitioners seek for the quashment of First Information Report in
Crime No.353 of 2009 on the file of Narayanaguda Police Station, Hyderabad,
whereunder case was registered under Section 354 IPC as well as under Sections 3
and 5 of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989 (the Act, for short).  The petitioners are the accused 1,
3 and 4.  The 2nd respondent herein is the de facto complainant.  He is said to
be watchman of the building where the incident allegedly occurred on 14-9-2009.
Inter alia, it is the case of the 2nd respondent that the accused including the
petitioners herein outraged the modesty of the wife of the 2nd respondent and
also abused the 2nd respondent touching upon his community and making themselves  
liable for punishment for the offences under Sections 3 and 5 of the Act.

        2. It may be noticed that it is the case of the
2nd respondent that the modesty of his wife Poola was outraged by the accused.
He claimed that apart from himself, his wife also was beaten.  Thereafter, the
complaint reads that the wife of the 2nd respondent herein was molested and her
modesty was outraged.  There is no specific overt act against any of the
accused.  I am afraid that a sweeping statement that the accused molested Poola
and outraged the modesty of Poola is not making out a prima facie case against
the petitioners for the offence under Section 354 IPC.  I agree with the
contention of Sri A.Prabhakar Rao, learned counsel for the petitioners, that the
prima facie case against the petitioners for the offence under Section 354 IPC
is not made out, so much so the complaint is liable to be quashed insofar as the
case is under Section 354 IPC.

        3. Regarding the offence under Sections 3 and 5 of the Act, it is relevant
to note that the offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act can be made out if the
insult or intimidation to a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe is in
a public place within public view.  Indeed, it is alleged in the complaint that
the accused abused the 2nd respondent touching upon his community.  However,
nothing in the complaint establishes that the incident occurred in a public
place.  The incident would appear to have taken place in the residential complex
of Sri Sikhara Constructions, Street No.1, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad.  Thus, the
incident did not occur in a public place.
        4. Added to it, there is no evidence that any person witnessed the
incident to consider that the offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act occurred
within public view.
Sri G.Ashok Kumar Reddy, learned counsel for the
2nd respondent, submitted that one Naresh and others were arrayed as witnesses
in the private complaint.  Indeed, the private complaint claimed in the preamble
that apart from the complainant and his wife Poola, Naresh and other residents
were also witnesses.  However, in the body of the complaint, no averment was
made that the incident occurred in the presence of Naresh.  It was also not
mentioned as to who witnessed the incident apart from the accused and the
victims in the 2nd respondent and his wife.  I am afraid that the accused and
the victims cannot be considered to be "public" within the meaning of Section
3(1)(x) of the Act.  Apart from these people, no other person allegedly
witnessed the incident according to the complaint.
I, therefore, consider that prima facie case is not made out against the accused
for the offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act.  The question of considering
Section 5 of the Act does not arise as there is no allegation that it is a
repeated incident.
        5. It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that in
fact, the 2nd respondent lodged
a complaint on the basis of which, a Summary Trial Case (STC) was registered
under Section 323 IPC against the culprits, so much so the present petition is
tantamount to double jeopardy.  I do not consider it appropriate to go into this
question where it is found that prima facie case is not made out against the
petitioners.  The learned counsel for the petitioners also contended that there
was delay of 1 month and 10 days in filing the private complaint.  The learned
counsel for the 2nd respondent explained the delay by pointing out that the
2nd respondent waited for the Police to take action and when the Police did not
take action, he lodged the private complaint.  Thus, the delay in filing the
private complaint has satisfactorily been explained by the 2nd respondent.

        6. Be that as it is, for the reasons already set out, the 2nd respondent
failed to make out a prima facie case either for the offence under Section 354
IPC or for the offences under Sections 3 and 5 of the Act.  Consequently, the
private complaint is liable to be quashed as against the petitioners.
Accordingly, this petition is allowed.  The complaint in Crime No.353 of 2009 on
the file of Narayanaguda Police Station, Hyderabad, so far as the accused 1, 3
and 4, who are the petitioners herein, stands quashed.

___________________  
K.G.SHANKAR, J.  
23rd August, 2012.

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