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Simple Cases Of Quarrel Being Falsely Converted Under Special Provisions Of SC & ST Act: Punjab & Haryana HC

In this particular case, the complainant from Hisar accused the two appellant-accused of using casteist slurs against him.

Punjab and Haryana High Court (Image: PTI)
Punjab and Haryana High Court (Image: PTI)

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in an important order, has remarked that many cases of quarrel which are registered under the Indian Penal Code IPC and are essentially complaints regarding the use of casteist slurs against the members of Scheduled Caste SC and Scheduled Tribes ST have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Such cases are on the rise, and people are often implicated falsely. In this particular case, the complainant Suresh Kumar of Hisar accused the appellant Rajbala and Raghubir of using casteist slur against him. The incident took place on April 13, 2022, in Hisar. The complainant sought to invoke the provisions of Section 3 of the SC & ST Act.

The Punjab and Haryana HC court order states that the complaint does not mention that the two appellant-accused are not the member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe and that they knew that the complainant was a member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.

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The complaint also does not mention that the intentional insult took place in full public view. The order states that “It is a matter of common knowledge that such words in a quarrel between two enemies at the spur of the moment are common and in routine and cannot possibly be taken to be an offence under the act.”

The order further states that merely uttering such words in the absence of intention to humiliate the complainant in public view would not ipso facto constitute acts of the mission of offence.

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“Even the plain and simple occurrence under the Indian Penal Code is given the colour of offence under Section 3 of the special act by adding false and vague allegations. This tendency needs to be curbed.” The judge observed that if turning civil matters into criminal ones is not discouraged, it will ultimately weaken the true cases of such nature.