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Supreme Court dismisses plea of SC/ST complainant against pre-arrest bail to man who made casteist remarks

Advocate Siddharth Mittal, appearing for the complainant Ramkala, argued before the Apex Court that directions and findings given by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana are “erroneous”.

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The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea filed by a complainant belonging to the SC/ST category seeking the cancellation of pre-arrest bail granted to a man who had allegedly made casteist remarks, abused and hit him. 

A two-judge bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Krishna Murari upheld the order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had held that if no offence is made out under SC/ST Act, the same does not preclude the high court in granting the concession of anticipatory bail by exercising the powers under Section 438/482 CrPC. 

Advocate Siddharth Mittal, appearing for the complainant Ramkala, argued before the Apex Court that directions and findings given by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana are “erroneous”.

He submitted before the bench that he belonged to SC/ST Category and upper caste people have problems with us. He also referred to judgment of Lalita Kumari and Rajkumar Chauhan in support of his contentions.

But the bench has stated that the High Court order is a “correct one”.

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Ramkala, the complainant, has moved the Apex Court seeking cancellation of bail of Virendra for the offence under Section 323, 506 of the IPC and Section 3(1)(s) of the SC/ST Act.

The High Court while granting anticipatory bail in view of Section 438 CrPC to Virendra noted that it appears that it is the complainant qua (Petitioner) herein who created trouble to co-villagers by filing similar complaints and in the instant case, despite having a toilet at his house, was easing himself in open field to create trouble.

The High Court in its order dated 4.08.2021 had also directed SHO, Police Station Kurukshetra University, District Kurukshetra is directed to ensure that in future if any such complaint is filed by the complainant’s side under the provisions of SC/ST Act, before registration of the FIR, an inquiry should be conducted by an officer not below the rank of DSP.

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The FIR avers that on 20.06.2021, the complainant had gone out and when he felt the pressure of answering the nature’s call, he went into an open field and while he was easing himself, the accused reached the spot and abused him in the name of his caste and asked him why he is easing himself in an open field. Then he caught hold of the complainant and gave him beatings.

Ramkala contended before the High Court that there is a bar under Section 18 of the SC/ST Act for entertaining an anticipatory bail application under the SC/ST Act, however, it is not disputed that it is held by Supreme Court that in case on the face of it, if no offence is made out; the same does not preclude the High Court in granting the settlement of anticipatory bail by exercising the powers under Sections 438/482 CrPC. 

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