Read Order: SANJEEV KUMAR AND OTHERS v. STATE OF HARYANA 

LE Staff

Chandigarh, November 23,2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made absolute the  interim bail granted to the petitioners in a case pertaining to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The Bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal found that there was an altercation but no utterance of any casteist remark by any person towards the complainant or his family members could be heard in the video clips.

In this matter, the petitioners were seeking anticipatory bail with regard to an FIR registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that it was alleged that the petitioners along with 15-20 persons had tried to dispossess the complainant from the ‘shamlat’ land. He had been allotted 100 sq. yards land out of Khasra No. 472/2 min, but the demarcation carried out by the revenue authorities indicated that he had encroached upon 433 sq. yards of land. 

It was also contended that the allegations did not constitute commission of any offence punishable under the SC&ST Act and the application of Section 3(1)(g) of the SC&ST Act would be doubtful, as the complainant did not have any right over the encroached land which belonged to the ‘shamlat’. It was submitted  that the incident had been video recorded which indicated that the petitioners did not utter any derogatory word.

Earlier, this Court had directed the petitioner to appear before the Investigating Officer and join the investigation and in the event of his arrest, he was ordered to be released on ad-interim bail to the satisfaction of the Investigating/Arresting Officer, subject to the conditions envisaged under Section 438(2) Cr.P.C.

The State counsel mentioned that the petitioners had joined the investigation.

The complainant’s counsel contended that the act and conduct of the petitioners was such that it did not entitle them to the concession of anticipatory bail inasmuch as the petitioners were trying to take possession of the land and on the refusal of the complainant to do so, they had manhandled the complainant. 

The Bench opined that the petitioners and other accused were alleged to have tried to forcibly dispossess the complainant. They also alleged to have uttered derogatory words. 

In the reply filed by the ACP, Panchkula, it was stated that in the course of investigation, it was found that the complainant was in illegal possession of the shamlat land of village Moginand. It was also stated that in the course of investigation, the complainant had stated that a video clip of the incident was available on their mobile phones, which was produced in a pendrive.

Total of 9 video clips was found in the verified pendrive and after viewing and hearing the same, it was found that there was an altercation but no utterance of any casteist remark by any person towards the complainant or his family members could be heard, added the Bench.

In view of the abovementioned facets and the petitioners having joined investigation, the order granting interim bail to the petitioners was made absolute.However, the Bench clarified that the petitioners shall abide by the conditions stipulated under Section 438(2) Cr.P.C. and shall also join investigation as and when called upon to do so.

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