Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs. The State Of Maharashtra

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Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs. The State Of Maharashtra
In Supreme Court of India
Citation
AIR 2018 SC 1498
Petitioner
Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan
Respondent
The State Of Maharashtra
Date of Judgement
20th March, 2018
Bench
Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit

Background:

The case that we discuss today is a landmark judgment in the legal history of India. The case Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan vs. State Of Maharashtra is landmark due to the fact because it laid down as to how Schedule tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989 is being misused and there is importance of quashing complaints where no concrete evidence could be found against the said wrongdoer. In this case there was a complaint by an employer towards his senior. The complainant belonged to schedule caste and his seniors were not of this caste. They wrote derogatory comments and adverse entry in his annual confidential report to the extent wherein they wrote that his integrity and character were not good. He filed an FIR under atrocities act and the police took action against the two accused under section 197 of CrPC and the two seniors refused to such allegation. The aggrieved filed another complaint against the state government stating that they could only get sanction from there as they were class-1 officers. The appellant has filed an application for quashing of such complaint but the same was set aside. So, herein in this case the court was to decide that could any action could be taken against officials who were acting in official capacity and what if the allegation made is false providing with remedy for the same.

Issues Raised:

1. The first issue which was raised was that any mala fide allegation made against officers can be ground for prosecution if such officers were acting within their official capacity?

2. Second issue was that if such an allegation was falsely made what is the remedy for the same?

Facts:

1. Respondent was a shopkeeper in a government college and filed a First Information Report (FIR) against his two seniors who had written adverse comments in the annual confidential report these two officials did not belong to the SC/ST caste and it was alleged that it was done deliberately by the officers due to caste indifferences.

2. Police took an action against the two accused under section 197 of CrPC but the two refused such sanction.

3. Therefore, Respondent filed a complaint against the Appellant on the ground that the Director of Technical education was not competent to grant/refuse such sanction as the two officers are class-1 officers and therefore only the state government could grant such sanction.

4. After all this a case was registered under the following sections:-

a) 3(1)(ix)-Atrocities Act

b) 3(2)(vi)- Atrocities Act

c) 3(2)(vii)- Atrocities Act

d) Section 182- IPC

e) Section 192- IPC

f) Section 193- IPC

g) Section 203- IPC

h) Section 219 read with section 34- IPC

5. The appellant filed an application for quashing of the said complaint but the same was dismissed by the High Court.

Contentions Raised:

Appellant:

1. It was argued from the appellant that no offence was committed under section 3(1)(ix), 3(2)(vi), 3(2)(vii) of the Atrocities Act and also under section 182, 192, 193,203 and 219 of IPC therefore it was argued that the complaint should have been quashed by the HC.

2. It was alleged that the FIR was made lodged after five years of the order passed by the appellant and the order passed was also erroneous and because of all this proceedings could not have taken place.

3. It was stated that the offences which are specified under Atrocities Act depended solely on the fact of the complaint which may not be true and no supportive evidence for the same could be found. This endangers the fundamental right provided under the constitution because without any valid proof or verification the person is held liable.

4. It was argued when there is no proof for such material substance then there should be an exercise for eliminating the use of arbitrary power of arrest provided that there should be preliminary enquiry thereto reason to be provided as to why such arrest was made.

Respondent:

1. It was argued that when the law is made there is no need for the court to issue guidelines provided there was no need to go for validating the provisions in Atrocities Act.

2. After taking inference from several cases it was argued that anticipatory bail can be granted where the cases are not amounting to any fabrication.

3. The Government of India had issued advisories on 03.02.2005, 01.04.2010 and 23.05.2016 also amendments were made in atrocities act stating the provision for special courts as well as exclusive special courts.

Significance of the Judgement:

1. The Court after going through all the contentions, submissions, evidences raised from both the side held that in the absence of any other sole offence calling for arrest in lieu of offences mentioned under the Atrocities Act no arrest may be done if a person is a public servant without the written permission of the appointing authority.

2. It was further stated that if the person is not a public servant then a person cannot be arrested without a written permission of the Senior Superintendent of Police of the District provided that the permission granted and the reasons provided must be recorded and they must be served to the person being arrested and before the Court.

3. It was stated when the person arrested is produced before the magistrate, then the magistrate must apply his mind to the reasons which have been recorded and such detention should be allowed only if the allegations are found to be true.

4. It was held that in order to avoid false complaints and FIRs a preliminary inquiry may be made to see whether the case falls within the parameters of Atrocities Act. The whole purpose of this is to see that there is no fraud and fabricated complaint.

5. Thus, the court held that the proceedings against the appellant must be quashed since there was no merit for such allegation against the complainant.

6. This judgment made it clear that there can be no use of the Atrocities Act since there were cases which were being registered just in pretext of caste discrimination.

7. If there is no concrete proof for any allegation that is made against the accused person even during the inquiry of preliminary committee then there is no need for any action against such complaint.

8. It is evident from the history of India that there is caste discrimination in our society and somewhere down the line it still persists due to this fact the constitution makers made relevant articles for protection of such backward classes and also an act was passed for the same but if the privilege which is given is misused then precautionary steps are to be taken which was very well stated in this case.

Edited by Shuvneek Hayer

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

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