Guj HC | Knowledge of the caste enough to invoke Ss. 3(2)(v) and (v-a) of the SC/ST Act

Gujarat High Court: Umesh A. Trivedi, J. dismissed the present writ petition preferred under Section 14-A of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short ‘Atrocities Act’).

This appeal challenged the order passed by Additional Sessions Judge (Special Court for Atrocities), Dhoraji.

Counsel for the appellants, Pravin Gondaliya submitted that there are no ingredients of offences in the charge-sheet to hold the appellants guilty under Section 395 of the Penal Code (IPC). He contended that the victim was not robbed with the intention of committing dacoity. The injuries are not relatable to the injuries caused while committing dacoity. There was no intention of dacoity involved. Moreover, many of the accused are of Scheduled Tribes or Scheduled Castes, therefore, no provision of the Atrocities Act can be invoked. The place from where the victim got the money is disputable.

The Court observed that the FIR itself makes it clear that the victim was injured and he was robbed of Rs 65,000. Hence, no doubts arise as to not invoke Section 395 IPC. The Court further observed that to invoke the provision of Section 3(2)(v) and 3(2)(v-a) of Atrocities Act intention of the accused is not relevant but knowledge of the caste. There are sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused. Thus, the appeal was dismissed.[Bhavesh Bhanubhai Sitapara v. State of Gujarat, 2019 SCC OnLine Guj 1100, decided on 13-06-2019]

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