Orissa HC points towards SC/ST act

In a recent decision on altercation, the Orissa High Court observed that if someone is abused with the name of his caste or the caste is uttered suddenly during an altercation, by itself, it would not be sufficient to hold that any offence under the SC and ST (PoA) Act is made out unless it is prima facie established that the accused’s intention was to insult or humiliate the victim for the reason that he belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.

The order ruled after the accused had challenged the sessions court’s order. The bench of Justice RK Pattanaik was hearing a petition that had been filed challenging the order of cognizance passed on the chargesheet submitted under Sections 241, 294, 323 and 506 read with Section 34 IPC and Sections 3(1)(r)(s) & 3(2)(va) of SC and ST (PoA) Act and the consequential order whereby, Sessions Judge, Khurda at Bhubaneswar had issued NBWAs against the petitioners.

As per the information, the case had been filed on 19 May 2017 on the basis of a complaint wherein it was alleged that the complainant was returning home when he was abused in filthy language, assaulted and terrorized by the petitioners and others. The complainant alleged that during and in course of the incident, mischief was committed involving caste aspersion vis-à-vis the person, who had come to rescue him.

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