Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Budihal R.B., J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 438 of CrPC, wherein the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail holding that the offence under SC/ST Act as alleged against the petitioner were not constituted.
The petitioner was an accused in criminal case registered under Sections 324, 504 and 506 of IPC along with Section 3(1)(ix) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Petitioner submitted that the FIR in the case was not regard to the offence under SC/ST Act but only to those under IPC. He submitted that it was only after a gap of few days that the Police in collusion with the complainant created another complaint in respect of the very same crime wherein the allegations regarding the offence under SC/ST Act were made. The petitioner prayed that he may be allowed an anticipatory bail by imposing reasonable conditions.
The Court perused the evidence on record and found that two complaints were field by the complainant in the case. Both related to the same incident. In the first complaint, no allegations against the petitioner regarding the offence under SC/ST Act were made. It was only in the second complaint which was filed after three days, that such allegations were made. The Court was of the opinion that there can not be two complaints by the same person regarding the same incident; if anything is left out while mentioning in the first complaint, the complainant could have made further statement under Section 161 of CrPC. Further, the Court held that, at the time of granting bail, even under Section 18 of the SC/ST Act, Court has to examine the material on record to see whether the offence under provisions of the said Act is made out. The Court perused the material and held that it was not sufficient to make out a case under the alleged section of the Act.
In view of the above, the High Court was of the opinion that it was a fit case to exercise discretion in favor of the petitioner; and hence, the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail. [Maladri Reddy v. State of Karnataka, Crl. Petition No. 766 of 2018, dated February 21, 2018]