Chhattisgarh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: Narendra Kumar Vyas, J., quashed the FIR registered against the petitioner by Respondent 4 at Women Police Station, Bilaspur (C.G.) for commission of offence punishable under Section 354(A) IPC and Section 3 (1)(xii) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The facts of the prosecution are such that the petitioner is working as an Assistant Professor in D.P. Vipra College, Bilaspur, filed present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing FIR registered against him on the basis of complaint made by respondent 4 at Women Police Station, Bilaspur (C.G.) for commission of offence punishable under Section 354 (A) of Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC & Section 3(1)(xii) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act i.e. “the Act, 1989”. The petitioner also highlighted that a criminal case was registered the petitioner against respondent 4 along with other 33 teaching staff having committed offence of unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation for which Judicial Magistrate 1st  class convicted the accused persons including respondent 4 and imposed fine s well.

Counsel for the petitioner Mr. B P Sharma submitted that being aggrieved by the conviction order, respondent 4 lodged FIR as a counterblast to the criminal proceedings. It was further submitted that the remarks made by petitioner was “Madam yadi aap chutti chahti hain toh mujhe akele mein aakar milein” which cannot be termed as sexually coloured remarks. Hence, no ingredient of offence under Section 354 (A) IPC is made out and the offence under the Act of 1989 was also prima facie not made out.

Counsel for the respondent 4 Mr. Manoj Paranjape submitted that the alleged statement made by the complainant/respondent 4 feel humiliated and caused grievance as such statement felt as an attack to the dignity and modesty of the complainant. It was submitted that it is the feeling perceived by the victim that is of paramount consideration and not what the accused states.

The Court observed that from bare perusal of Section 3(1) (xii) of the Act of 1989, statement of the complainant and other witnesses, it cannot be prima facie established the offence has been committed with racial prejudice and that the petitioner was ever in a position to exploit respondent 4 sexually as petitioner and respondent 4 are working as Assistant Professors in the same college, therefore, it cannot be presumed that the petitioner was in a position to dominate the respondent 4 or to command or control her.

The Court observed that the contents of the complaint cannot be inferred as a sexual coloured remark against respondent 4. The remarks do not fall within the ambit of sexual harassment in order to prosecute the petitioner for commission of offence under Section 354 (A) (iv) IPC.

The Court held

“since the criminal case is going on, therefore it is counter blast on the part of respondent no. 4, as such; adjudication of the proceeding against the petitioner for commission of offence under Section 354 (A) of IPC will be nothing but an abuse.”

The Court held “FIR No. 0036 dated 25.06.2018 registered against the petitioner by Respondent No. 4 at Women Police Station, Bilaspur (C.G.) for commission of offence punishable under Section 354(A) IPC and Section 3 (1)(xii) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, deserves to be and is hereby quashed.” [Manish Tiwari v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2021 SCC OnLine Chh 3799, decided on 01-11-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, senior-most Judge of Chhattisgarh High Court, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court by the President in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India. Justice Mishra will assume this position on 1st June, 2021 on the retirement of  Justice Parappillil Ramakrishnan Nair Ramachandra Menon.

Justice Mishra was born on 29th August, 1964 in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh. He enrolled as an Advocate on September 4, 1987 and practiced in the District Court and the High Courts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in Civil, Constitutional, Revenue and Criminal Matters. His field of specialization was Constitutional and Civil matters. He has also served as Additional Advocate General and Advocate General for the State of Chhattisgarh. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court on December 10, 2009 and as a Permanent Judge November 28, 2014.

Chhattisgarh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Division Bench of P.R. Ramachandra Menon, CJ and Parth Prateem Sahu, J., addressed an issue with regard to the alienation of Government Land.

Petitioner approached the Court challenging the course and proceedings being taken by the respondents in connection with the alienation of the Government Land, allegedly without any regard to the relevant provisions of law.

Further, it has been stated that the land in question is being allotted to a particular political party through respondents 3 and 4.

Petitioners Counsel, Sharad Mishra submitted that the property was allotted to the respondent concerned. At present, it has been sought to be allotted in the name of Pramod Sahi — Respondent 6 vide the resolution on a lease for 30 years.

Counsel further submits that, no prior sanction of the Government land has been obtained which is clearly in violation of Section 109 of the Municipalities Act, 1961.

As respondent 6 has been allotted a plot already for the purpose of setting up an office, by virtue of the clear mandate under Rule 3B (ii) (b) & (c) of the Rules, 1996, no further allotment shall be made again in their name.

Dy. Advocate General, Chandresh Shrivastava on behalf of the State submitted that the present petition is not maintainable, so far as the petitioner is having a private interest being the leader of a political party.

It was also pointed out that Rule 3B of the Act of 1996 enables allotment of the Government land to the political parties for the construction of their offices.

High Court on perusal of the above held that a prima facie case has been made out by the petitioner and hence the case stands admitted.

Bench has issued notices to the State Government and directed them to file their reply.

Matter to be posted for further consideration on 20-09-2020. [Bhanu Chandrakar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2020 SCC OnLine Chh 183, decided on 01-09-2020]