24 June 2024


High Court of Bombay

State of Goa Vs. Metzi Cardozo and Ors.




It is not necessary to go into the merits of the case at the stage of framing the charge

By present revision, under Section 397 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Petitioner/State of Goa has challenged the legality of impugned order of discharge passed by Special Judge, discharging Respondents of the offence punishable under Section 3(1)(x) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Sections 504 and 506(ii) read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).

Section 3(1)(x) of Act, contemplates that, there shall be intentional insults or intimidation with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view. Prima facie, it is apparent from recitals of complaint and statement of witnesses that, complainant was abused within a public view by Respondent No. 1 who does not belong to Scheduled Caste. Ingredients of Section 3(1) (x) of Act have been precisely attracted.

It is well settled principle of law that, it would be essential to see as to whether prima facie ingredients of Section 3(1) (x) of the Act are attracted. At the stage of framing charge, what is required to be seen is that, whether there is sufficient material on record in the form of evidence which is such if not rebutted would warrant conviction of accused. At stage of framing charge, evidence cannot be gone into meticulously which has been precisely done by the learned Special Judge in the impugned order. All what is required at the stage of framing charge is whether prima facie case is made out and it is not necessary to go into merits of the case. It is not necessary to give reasons while framing the charge. It is immaterial whether a case is based on direct or circumstantial evidence.

Only because there is delay in lodging complaint would not ipso facto mean that, complaint is altogether false especially for reason that, complainant and his wife has specifically clarified in complaint that, they have been insulted and humiliated by Respondents in the past.

There is no sufficient material in so far as Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are concerned as regards to insulting the complainant on the ground of his caste except saying the words "Ghanti" in the complaint. There is nothing on record to show that Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 extended threats to the complainant. Thus, impugned order discharging the Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 is confirmed.

Thus, record disclosed the fact that, complainant was insulted on his caste within a public view by Respondent No. 1 by calling him "Ghanti, bhongi chamar and mhar" any by threatening him with dire consequences. In the light of observations made herein above, petition is partly allowed. Learned Sessions Judge, is directed to frame a charge against Respondent No. 1.

Tags : Insult Caste Discharge Legality

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