Chhattisgarh High Court
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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.