HC: Merely naming caste not an offence under SC/ST Act | India News

BENGALURU: Calling only the victim’s caste name would not be considered an offense under the Scheduled Clans and Tribes Act (Prevention of Brutality Act), 1989, unless intended to offend people of that caste, the Karnataka high court observed recently.
Dropping proceedings against defendants regarding provisions of the Crimes Act, HC also pointed out that under Rule 7, the investigation must be conducted by a police officer not below the rank of deputy. SP and that was violated in this case because it was done by a police sub-inspector.
Partially accepting the petition of V Shailesh Kumar, resident of Bandesandra village, rural district of Bengaluru, Judge M Nagaprasanna said the petitioner faces charges under the IPC such as assault, criminal intimidation, etc.
The case is about an argument between two teams after a cricket match. On June 14, 2020, Jayamma of Iggaluru village registered the complaint. She alleges her son Manoj and his friend Pradeep were eating near a shop and around 4:30pm, Sylesh Kumar with 30 people in two-wheelers and cars went there and insulted Manoj. Another person attacked them with a weapon and a beer bottle, causing injuries and also assaulting them after putting them in the car.
Police investigated the matter and filed an indictment, citing both the provisions of the Crimes Act and the IPC. On March 1, 2021, the special judge ordered the registration of a special case under the Crimes Act. It was challenged by Sylesh, who stated that there was no intention, even if it is accepted that the abuses were committed in the name of caste.
The judge noted that in the present case the aforementioned aspect (intent to offend) is conspicuously absent, allowing the continuation of further proceedings on offenses under the Crimes Act. would be an abuse of the legal process.
“Section 3(1)(r) (of the Atrocities Act) provides that anyone who knowingly insults or threatens with the intent to humiliate a member of the Scheduled Caste or Tribe scheduled anywhere in public view Section 3(1)(s) shall provide that if any person is deemed to have abused the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe under caste name anywhere in public view humiliate a member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe” Justice Nagaprasanna pointed out in her order.
The judge added that neither the indictment nor the statements narrate any other circumstances except to say that the caste name of the complainant’s son was also used when the abuses occurred. The judge said: “There were no statements of intent to offend or humiliate in the name of caste, either in the statements or in the summary of the indictment.”
He added, “It is an acknowledged fact that the investigation, in the present case, was conducted by the police sub-inspector and the charge sheet filed by the police sub-inspector. Therefore, it was violates Rule 7…”


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