Insulting or intimidating a member of Scheduled Caste within the four walls of a house is no offence under Atrocities Act, Bombay High Court ruled recently.
Under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act commonly known as Atrocities Act insulting a member of SC or ST "within public view" is an offence, which can attract punishment upto five years' jail term.
In the present case, Udaysingh Pawar (80) of Chalisgaon in North Maharashtra had approached the High Court, seeking to quash a complaint under the Atrocities Act filed against him by one M D More, a practising advocate.
According to More's complaint, Anand Sonawane, one of More's clients, had gone to Pawar's house to request him to give Sonawane his job back.
Sonawane, an employee of Chalisgaon Agricultural Marketing Produce Committee, had been fired for indiscipline.
As per the complainant, when Sonawane and his mother met Pawar, latter used abusive language with respect to More. More himself was not present at the meeting.
More, a Dalit, then filed complaint under Atrocities Act against Pawar.
Pawar approached Magistrate's court for getting the complaint quashed, but got no relief. So he moved High Court.
In the High Court, his lawyer denied that Pawar ever abused More. Further, it was argued, assuming Pawar did abuse More, the incident occurred in Pawar's own house.