Friday, 2 December 2016

Whether offence under SC and ST Atrocities Act is made out of civil suit is filed against SC caste person?

  A civil suit stood instituted on 10.5.2002 against the
complainant by the accused. The suit aforesaid instituted by the
accused against the complainant was qua the complainant arrayed as
co-defendant therein holding unauthorized occupation of a cowshed.
The suit came to be dismissed under a judgment of the learned trial
Court comprised in Ex.P-2. A further appeal therefrom as stood
preferred by the aggrieved plaintiff before the learned Appellate Court
also sequelled dismissal, dismissal whereof stands comprised in a
judgment rendered by the learned Appellate Court embodied in Ex.P-3. 
only on the apposite penal ingredients constituted therein standing
satiatedThe victim/complainant stands aggrieved by the factum of the
institution of a frivolous Civil Suit against him by the accused
constraining him to contest it for three years sequelling a loss to his
reputation besides lowering of his estimation in public. Even though,
the victim/complainant arrayed as a co-defendant in the Civil Suit
instituted by the accused is uncontrovertedly a member of a
Scheduled Caste community, consequently the mere institution of a

civil suit against him by the accused, a member of non-scheduled
caste community, would not perse render the victim/complainant to
espouse herebefore of thereupon any of the penal provisions
engrafted in the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short “the Act”) standing
infringed by the accused unless palpable evidence stood adduced by
the victim/complainant of the accused publicly making derogatory
aspersions qua his caste whereupon his reputation stood undermined
in society. Since there occurs no communication either in the
apposite complaint instituted by the victim/complainant of the
accused publicly making derogatory utterances qua his caste nor any
evidence standing obviously adduced qua the aforesaid facet.
Consequently when the aforesaid manifestations are enjoined to be
embodied in the apposite complaint for securing an inference of any
of the penal provisions constituted in “the Act” standing attracted.
Contrarily with apposite non-manifestations therein, the order of
acquittal recorded by the learned trial Court does not suffer from any
infirmity.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH,
SHIMLA
Cr. Appeal No. 144 of 2007
Decided on : 23.6.2016
State of H.P. Jai Chand 
Coram
The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sureshwar Thakur, Judge.
Citation:2016 CRLJ(NOC)301 HP

The instant appeal stands directed by the State of Himachal
Pradesh against the impugned judgment rendered on 22.1.2007, by
the learned Sessions Judge, Hamirpur, H.P., in Sessions Trial No. 13
of 2006 whereby it acquitted the respondent (for short ‘accused’) for
the offences charged.

2. The brief facts of the case are that on 10.5.2007 a suit for
permanent prohibitory injunction in relation to the land comprised in
Khata No. 69 min, Khatoni No. 192, Khasra No. 3087/2019,
measuring 10 marlas, situated in Tika Dain, Mauja Lohdar, Tehsil
Barsar, District Hamirpur, H.P stands preferred by the accused
against one Smt. Shakuntla Devi, her son Jagdev, daughter in law Smt.
Anjana Devi and complainant Dhani Ram Shukla in the Court of
learned Sub Judge, 1st Class, Barsar, District Hamirpur, H.P. The suit
aforesaid came to be dismissed under judgment of the learned trial
Court comprised in Ex.P-2. A further appeal therefrom as stood
preferred before the learned Appellate Court sequelled dismissal
under a judgment rendered by the learned Appellate Court comprised
in Ex.P-3. As per the complainant he belongs to village Balh Bagh
which is at a distance of about 15 kms from village Dain, where the
land which was subject matter of the suit exists, he has no landed
property/cow-shed as well as he had no concern or relation with
unknown lady smt. Shakuntla Devi her son an her daughter-in-law.
However, even despite that accused arraigned him as co-defendant in
the suit aforesaid as reflected in paragraphs 3 to 5 of the plaint (Ex.P-

1). The victim/complainant stands aggrieved by the factum of the
institution of frivolous Civil Suit against him by the accused which he
was made to contest for three years sequelling loss of his reputation
besides lowering his estimation in public. It is further alleged by him
that in order to defend the appeal he had to incur expenditure of
Rs.10,000/- as counsel’s fee. It stands further alleged by the
complainant that the accused had harassed him by committing
atrocities on him by way of initiating legal proceedings against him
without his fault. After completing all codal formalities and on
conclusion of the investigation into the offence, allegedly committed
by the accused challan was prepared and filed in the Court.
3. Accused stood charged by the learned trial Court for his
committing offences punishable under Section 3 (i) (viii) of the
Scheduled castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Act, 1989, to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
4. In order to prove its case, the prosecution examined 12
witnesses. On closure of the prosecution evidence, the statement of
the accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was
recorded in which he pleaded innocence and claimed false

implication. However, he chose to lead evidence in defence and
examined two DWs.
5. On an appraisal of the evidence on record, the learned trial
Court returned findings of acquittal in favour of the accused.
6. The learned Deputy Advocate General has concertedly and
vigorously contended qua the findings of acquittal recorded by the
learned trial Court standing not based on a proper appreciation of
evidence on record, rather, theirs standing sequelled by gross misappreciation
of material on record. Hence, he contends qua the
findings of acquittal being reversed by this Court in the exercise of its
appellate jurisdiction and theirs being replaced by findings of
conviction.
7. The learned counsel appearing for the respondent/accused
has with considerable force and vigor contended qua the findings of
acquittal recorded by the Court below standing based on a mature and
balanced appreciation of evidence on record and theirs not
necessitating interference, rather theirs meriting vindication.

8. This Court with the able assistance of the learned counsel on
either side has with studied care and incision, evaluated the entire
evidence on record.
9. A civil suit stood instituted on 10.5.2002 against the
complainant by the accused. The suit aforesaid instituted by the
accused against the complainant was qua the complainant arrayed as
co-defendant therein holding unauthorized occupation of a cowshed.
The suit came to be dismissed under a judgment of the learned trial
Court comprised in Ex.P-2. A further appeal therefrom as stood
preferred by the aggrieved plaintiff before the learned Appellate Court
also sequelled dismissal, dismissal whereof stands comprised in a
judgment rendered by the learned Appellate Court embodied in Ex.P-3. 
only on the apposite penal ingredients constituted therein standing
satiatedThe victim/complainant stands aggrieved by the factum of the
institution of a frivolous Civil Suit against him by the accused
constraining him to contest it for three years sequelling a loss to his
reputation besides lowering of his estimation in public. Even though,
the victim/complainant arrayed as a co-defendant in the Civil Suit
instituted by the accused is uncontrovertedly a member of a
Scheduled Caste community, consequently the mere institution of a

civil suit against him by the accused, a member of non-scheduled
caste community, would not perse render the victim/complainant to
espouse herebefore of thereupon any of the penal provisions
engrafted in the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short “the Act”) standing
infringed by the accused unless palpable evidence stood adduced by
the victim/complainant of the accused publicly making derogatory
aspersions qua his caste whereupon his reputation stood undermined
in society. Since there occurs no communication either in the
apposite complaint instituted by the victim/complainant of the
accused publicly making derogatory utterances qua his caste nor any
evidence standing obviously adduced qua the aforesaid facet.
Consequently when the aforesaid manifestations are enjoined to be
embodied in the apposite complaint for securing an inference of any
of the penal provisions constituted in “the Act” standing attracted.
Contrarily with apposite non-manifestations therein, the order of
acquittal recorded by the learned trial Court does not suffer from any
infirmity.

10. Be that as it may if the findings of acquittal recorded by the
learned trial Court are not sustained it would give leeway to any
member of a Scheduled Caste Community, to merely on the anvil of
civil proceedings standing instituted against him by a member of a
non Scheduled caste community seek attraction against him of the
penal provisions engrafted in “the Act”, attraction whereof on the
score aforesaid would detract from the salutary purpose of the Act, of by adduction of cogent evidence thereupon alone Courts of
law standing coaxed to punish a member of a non-scheduled caste
community for his committing a penal delinquency upon a member
of a scheduled caste community besides would also preclude any
member of a non-scheduled caste community to redress his
grievances before the Civil Court concerned by launching civil
proceedings against a member of a scheduled caste community.
11. A wholesome analysis of the evidence on record portrays
that the appreciation of evidence as done by the learned trial Court
does not suffer from any perversity and absurdity nor it can be said
that the learned trial Court in recording findings of acquittal has

committed any legal misdemeanor, in as much, as, its having misappreciated
the evidence on record or its having omitted to appreciate
relevant and admissible evidence. In aftermath this Court does not
deem it fit and appropriate that the findings of acquittal recorded by
the learned trial Court merit any interference.
12. In view of the above discussion, I find no merit in this
appeal, which is accordingly dismissed and the judgment of the
learned trial Court is maintained and affirmed. Record of the learned
trial Court be sent back forthwith.
23rd June, 2016 (Sureshwar Thakur)

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