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Ranjit S/O. Rajaram Hande v/s The State Of Maharashtra & Others


    Decided On, 27 January 2010

    At, In the High Court of Bombay at Aurangabad


    For the Petitioner: R.N. Dhorde i/b. Shri V.S. Kadam, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1 to R3 B.V. Wagh, A.P.P., R4, A.S. Mantri, Advocate.

Judgment Text


1. Heard Adv. Shri R.N. Dhorde i/b. Adv. Shri V.S. Kadam for the petitioner, A.P.P. Shri B.V. Wagh for respondent Nos. 1 to 3 and Adv. Smt. A.S. Mantri, for respondent No.4.

2. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. With consent of learned advocates appearing for the parties, the petition is heard finally at the stage of admission.

3. This is a petition for quashing F.I.R. filed by respondent No.4 against the petitioner, which is registered as C.R. No. 3015 of 2009 by Latur Gramin Police Station for offence punishable under section 3 (1) (x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short ?Atrocities Act?) and under sections 323, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (for short ?I.P.C.?).

4. Briefly stated facts giving rise to this petition may be stated as below :.

Respondent No.4 lodged complaint with the police station alleging that he is an educated unemployed and Shri Ramdasji Athavale had given him recommendation letter for giving him contracts of

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construction. Accordingly, he had taken construction work of road in the name of Sachin Vimukta Bhatkya Jamathi Majoor Cooperative Society, Ekambi Tanda, Tq. Ausa, Dist. Latur. The work order was bearing MB No. 2968 (Major) and amount of bill was Rs. 5,50,000/. On 24.08.2009, along with one Mahavir Kamble, complainant Rohidas Kamble went to the cabin of petitioner ? Ranjit Hande, Executive Engineer, for making inquiry regarding the bill. At that time it is alleged that the petitioner gave him shoves & pushes and spoke insultingly. The petitioner called him ?Dhedgya Mahargya? and demanded 2% commission and also abused the complainant/respondent No. 4 on caste. Mahavir Kamble intervened and thereafter the complaint was lodged. 5. In the petition, the petitioner stated that no such incident had taken place. He has been involved in a false case and the F.I.R. may be quashed. In para 12 of the petition it is stated that respondent No.4 was insisting that since he had brought a letter of a very known influential person, irrespective of the fact whether he had carried out the work or not, he wanted payment. It is totally wild and incorrect allegation of demand of 2%. Bills were pending of various societies from MarchApril, 2008 as funds were not available. 6. At the time of arguments the learned advocate Shri R.N. Dhorde has taken me through the various documents produced with the petition. As per clause 8 of the circular produced at Exh. ?B? (collectively), allotment of work is done by committee and not by the Executive Engineer. The committee recommends the allotment of work. As per circular dated 06.12.2008, minimum 25 labour members are required to be in the society. As per para 9 of said circular, amounts payable to labour cooperative societies are to be credited in the account of concerned labour cooperative society in District Central Cooperative Bank. As per letter dated 15.06.2006 issued by the Superintending Engineer, Public Works, Circle Osmanabad to the Chairman, Sachin Vimukta Bhatkya Jamati Majoor Sahakari Sanstha, Maryadit, Ekambitanda, Tq. Ausa, the copy of which is at Exh. ?C?, said labour cooperative society was informed that they would be registered for a period of three years and they will have to make fresh application for renewal. List of members of the committee so also list of directors and other office bearers of the committee are given with the letter and it does not appear that respondent No.4 was either member or office bearer of the society in question. Therefore, it is argued that respondent No.1 had no occasion whatsoever to make inquiry regarding payment to the said society and there was no reason or occasion for demanding any commission from him. Infact, this is a false case. Respondent No.4 was not concerned with the society in question. At Exh. ?D? there is a letter dated 27.02.2009 issued by the petitioner to the Chairman of Sachin Vimukta Bhagkya Jamati Majoor Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit, whereby the work was allotted on certain conditions. At Exh. ?E? there is letter dated 10.08.2009 whereby the bill of said society for Rs. 5,48,586/was submitted by the SubDivisional Engineer, Power Works SubDivision, Ausa. It is clear from the endrosement thereon that the date of completion (of work) was 30.05.2009. It was case of the petitioner that on the day of incident i.e. 24.08.2009, funds were not available and therefore bills were outstanding. 7. No affidavit in reply is filed by the respondents. The learned A.P.P. Shri B.V. Wagh produced papers of investigation and stated that respondent No.4 has filed complaint which was a typed complaint. It is accompanied with recommendation letter issued by Shri Ramdasji Athavale, M.P. There is caste certificate of respondent No.4 and the copy of F.I.R. registered. There are statements of various persons recorded by police. Arjun Mandale stated that respondent No.4 and one more person with him had approached the petitioner and requested for payment of bill. The petitioner showed him B.D.S. List and told that budget was not available and payment could not be made. At that time respondent No.4 said that if it is not possible to make payment, he should be given new work. The petitioner said that within two days Code of Conduct would be come in operation and after period of the Code of Conduct was over, work will be made available. At that time respondent No.4 raised his voice and no incident as alleged in the complaint had taken place. Arun Mandale was working as a Naik in the office of the petitioner. 8. There are statements of Dattatraya PotdarPeon in office of the petitioner, Ramrao Awaghade, who was working as a Security Guard, Yashwant Kulkarni, who was working as Dy. Executive Engineer and Pradip Raut, Chairman of another society. But none of them supported the case of the complainant, but asserted that no incident as alleged took place. 9. There is only statement of Mahavir Kamble, who is alleged to have accompanied the complainant. He supported the case of respondent No.4 and stated as per the complaint. Investigation papers also show that statement of Baliram Chavan, who was chairman of Sachin Vimukta Bhatkya Jamati Majoor Sahakari Sanstha, recorded on 28.08.2009 and he stated that present respondent No.4 and/or Mahavir Kamble have no concern whatsoever with the society. They are not members of the society. They have no right to get payment in respect of work done by the society. The Public Works Department has passed bill of his society, but for want of budget, cheque was not issued. 10. Adv. Smt. Mantri cited two authorities. First is State of Haryana V/s. Bhajan Lal, AIR 1992 S.C. 602. In para 108 of the said case, various guidelines are laid down. It is argued that ultimately it is question of evidence before Court whether the case is true or false and this Court cannot strike down F.I.R. at this stage saying that the complaint of respondent No.4 was not trustworthy. 11. Adv. Smt. Mantri also relied upon case of State of Punjab V/s. Dharam Singh and Others, 1987 (Supp) S.C.C.89. In that case the Supreme Court laid down that the Court is not competent to quash F.I.R. and proceedings taken in pursuance thereof thereby restraining the police authorities from performing their duties. It is also held that High Court erred in quashing the F.I.R. by not only examining the averments made in the F.I.R. but also going into merits of the case before investigation and collection of evidence by the investigating agency. 12. This Court referred to the papers of investigation mainly for the purpose of ascertaining whether there was any corroborative evidence and secondly whether the police collected any evidence to show that respondent No.4 has any concern with the contract in question or with the society which had taken contract and also to ascertain if there was occasion for the incident. This Court can very well consider such aspects in view of clause (5) of para 108 of case of Bhajan Lal (Supra). 13. Adv. Shri R.N. Dhorde also stated that present case also falls under clause (3) of para 108 of the case of Bhajan Lal (Supra) in as much as ingredients of section 3 (1) (x) of the Atrocities Act are not made out. He relied upon three authorities, namely, V.P. Shetty, Chairman of Industrial Development Bank of India Ltd. V/s. Sr. Inspector of Police and Another, 2005 (2) Bom.C.R. (Cri.) 891, Sarita Shyan Dake V/s. Sr. Police Inspector and Anr., 2008 (1) Bom.C.R. (Cri.)417 and Pradnya Pradeep Kenkare and Anr., V/s. State of Maharashtra, 2005 (2) Bom.C.R. (Cri.) 431. The Division Benches in above three cases stated that for commission of offence punishable under section 3 (1) (x) of the Atrocities Act, utterances must be in public view. Whenever the words uttered are not at a place accessible to public, offence cannot be said to have been committed. In the case of V.P. Shetty (Supra), incident had occurred in closed cabin of the petitioner and in absence of any stranger, it is observed that it can hardly be said that the accusation was in public view. I may refer to para 8 of the case of Sarita Dake (Supra). In the said case the complainant nowhere disclosed that any third person was present at the time of incident. The complainant did not also disclose that the incident could have been seen by any third party from outside the office premises. In the case of Pradnya Kenkare (Supra), there was no evidence to show that the expression was used in public view and there was any stranger present. Incident of insult or intimidation has to occur in plac e accessible to and in presence of the public.14. Considering totality of the circumstances, in my opinion, the case is filed for some ulterior motive and therefore the case falls under clauses 3,5 & 7 of para 108 of the case of Bhajan Lal (Supra), which I reproduce below for ready reference: ?x x x x x x x 3. Where the un controverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused. x x x x x x x x 5. Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. x x x x x x x x x 7. Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.? 15. In the result the writ petition is allowed. Rule made absolute in terms of prayer clause (B) and the petition stands disposed of.

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