Kerala High Court: In an application filed to quash all the further proceedings for offences under Sections 294(b) and 354-A of the Penal Code(‘IPC'), Kauser Edappagath, J. said that there is no case for the prosecution that the words allegedly uttered by the petitioner aroused sexually impure thoughts in the minds of the hearers. Thus, the Court held that neither the basic ingredients of Section 294(b) nor of Section 354-A of IPC are attracted.
In the case at hand, the petitioner is a pediatrician practicing at a hospital and Respondent's child was petitioner's patient. It was alleged that, while treating the child, the petitioner misbehaved with the respondent by showing obscene action with his finger and uttering obscene words against her.
The case of the petitioner is that the child was brought to the hospital as he developed bleeding from his penis, and when during the examination the child passed urine, the petitioner got angry and showered abusive words against his mother which according to her outraged her modesty.
The Court said that to attract Section 294(b), IPC, the following two ingredients are to be satisfied:
Offender has sung, recited or uttered any obscene song or word in or near any public place
Has caused annoyance to others.
The Court said that the place of occurrence is the consulting room of the petitioner at the hospital, and it can never be termed as a public place or near public place.
Further, it relied on Sangeetha Lakshmana v. State of Kerala, (2008) 2 KLT 745, wherein it was held that “to satisfy the definition of obscenity to attract Section 294(b) of IPC, the words uttered must be capable of arousing sexually impure thoughts in the minds of its hearers”, and said that there is no case for the prosecution that the words allegedly uttered by the petitioner aroused sexually impure thoughts in the minds of the hearers. Thus, the Court held that neither the basic ingredients of Section 294(b) nor of Section 354A of IPC are attracted.
[DR. K.K. Ramachandran v Sub Inspector of Police, 2022 SCC OnLine Ker 7511, decided on 20-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Advocate C.P Udayabhanu
For Respondent: Public Prosecutor Sangeetha Raj
*Apoorva Goel, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.