In the case dated 14-09-2021 Alkesh and others v. State of M.P. it was held by the Madhya Pradesh high court that to lodge a case under SC/ST act the caste of the complaint is of paramount importance.
A tussle between appellant and complaint took place when they went to the well of Hukum Patel. There were several people of different religions and castes. It was alleged in the FIR that the complaint was pushed by the appellant in the crowd, further when the complaint objected, he was beaten by the appellant and when other people came to rescue him they were also beaten.
The FIR was lodged and the case was under, however, on the basis of the statement recorded by the witness after more than one month.
The FIR has been lodged and on the basis of the incident, the case under sections 294, 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC was registered. However, after one month that is on 10/05/2016, on the basis of the statement recorded by the witness section 3(2) (5A) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 were also added to the charge sheet.
Counsel from the appellant had argued that they have been falsely implicated under SC/ST act as there is no mention of the involvement of caste during the dispute in the FIR.
JudgementThe court held that there are certain basic requirements while lodging an FIR on the perusal of which one must be able to find out about the substance of the offence, and the caste of the complainant is something which cannot be missed by him while lodging the same, especially when the caste itself was an important aspect of the matter. The caste of the complainant is of paramount importance and is a sine qua non in a case under the SC/ST Act and it cannot be assumed that the complainant would forget to mention in the FIR that the assailants also made aspersions against his caste After almost a month’s delay it was realized by the complaint that the dispute took place because he belongs to SC/ST caste, it was an afterthought. Accordingly, the appeal has been allowed and the charges so far as they relate to framing of charges against the appellants under Section 3(2)(5A) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, has been quashed.