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Hurling casteist abuses must be in public place or in public view to constitute offence under SC/ST Act: Karnataka High Court

Single-judge Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that in terms of Sections 3(1)(r) and 3(1)(s) of the SC/ST Act, what is necessary to drive home an offence is that hurling of abuses is done either in a public place or a place of public view.

The Court, therefore, quashed a case registered under the SC/ST Act against one Ritesh Pais accused of hurling casteist abuses against one Mohan in a basement of a building.

The petitioner had called in question the proceedings pending before the V Additional District & Sessions Judge, DK, Mangalore for offences under the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s) and 3(2)(va) of the SC/ST Act.

The allegation against the petitioner was that he had hurled abuses at the complainant in the basement of a building where the complainant was working. He also allegedly threatened the complainant and obstructed the construction activity going on in the building.

All the witnesses including the complainant were co-employees of one Jayakumar R Nair.

The contention of the petitioner was that the petitioner had earlier instituted a civil suit against Nair and an order of injunction was operating against Nair in that suit.

Nair had, therefore, set up his employee to file the present case in order to settle score against the petitioner, it was contended.

It was further argued that the alleged casteist abuses were hurled in a basement where no passerby was present.

The counsel for the complainant, however, contended that the incident took place in front of other employees who are witnesses in the case.

Source: Barandbench

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