Kerala High Court: Calling it to be ‘moral policing’ K. Haripal, J., addressed a matter wherein a man had taken a lady from another community in his car due to which a mob attacked him with deadly weapons.
The offences under Sections 143, 147, 148, 341, 323, 324, 506(ii), 308 read with Section 149 of Penal Code, 1860 were alleged against the petitioners.
It was alleged that the accused persons along with some identifiable persons formed an unlawful assembly and in prosecution of their common object, owing to the reason that CW1 Sanal had taken a lady of a different community in a car, the 1st accused wrongfully restrained and intimidated that he would be killed; 2nd accused beat him with a wooden reaper, a dangerous weapon and caused him injuries; accused’s 3 and 4 assaulted him with iron rods.
Petitioners approached this Court for quashing the proceedings on the ground of settlement as the trial had already commenced.
High Court’s reasoning
Why the proceedings cannot be quashed?
High Court expressed that,
- Firstly, the trial of the case was in progress, the memorandum of evidence indicated that at least seven witnesses have already been examined on the side of the prosecution.
- Secondly, present case was the one in which a violent mob was attacking respondent 2 ostensibly for no reason. The reason was that he had removed a lady from another community in the car.
The Bench agreed with the submission of the Senior public Prosecutor that, is such a case would be quashed on the ground of settlement, it would send a wrong message to the public.
“…they were doing moral policing.”
In the present case, the brutal attack was unleashed against an unarmed single person and caused serious injuries.
Court also noted that a few of the petitioners were fugitive criminals having very grave criminal antecedents, hence the alleged settlement with respondent 2 cannot be reckoned for quashing the proceedings under Section 482 of the CrPC.
The above case was dismissed. [Muhammed Nazar v. State of Kerala, Crl MC No. 239 of 2022, decided on 8-3-2022]
Advocates before the Court:
For the petitioners: S. Jiji, Advocate
For the Respondents:
M.M. Baby, Advocate
Others: Sr. PP – Hrithwik C.S.