Section 3(1)(x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 = mere abuses are not sufficient to attract section 3[1][x] = Going by the version of the complainant Deshiram himself, the expressions used by the appellant during the course of vertical altercation, did not refer to the caste or tribe that the complainant belonged though such assertion finds place in the testimony of the other witnesses. the appellant abused the complainant Deshiram is quite clear and as such his conviction and sentence recorded under Section 294 IPC was fully justified. However, going by the version of the complainant Deshiram according to which there was no reference to the caste or tribe of the complainant, there is a doubt as regards charge under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act. In the circumstances, while affirming the conviction and sentence of the appellant under Section 294 IPC, we grant him benefit of doubt and acquit him of the charge under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act.

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. …. OF 2019 @ SLP(CRL.) NO. 1907 OF 2019
NARAD PATEL VS. SATE OF CHHATTISGARH
1
Non-Reportable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 883 OF 2019
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No.1907 of
2019)
NARAD PATEL …Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF CHHATTISGARH …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
Uday Umesh Lalit, J.

  1. Leave granted.
  2. This appeal challenges the correctness of the final Judgment
    and Order dated 27.11.2018 passed by the High Court of Chhattisgarh
    at Bilaspur in Criminal Appeal No.1101 of 2002.
  3. The appellant was tried in Special Case no.13 of 2002 on the
    file of the Special Judge, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh for having
    committed offences punishable under Sections 294, 506-B of IPC and
    under Section 3(1)(x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
    (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (“the Act”, for short). It
    was alleged that during the night intervening 30.09.2001 and
    01.10.2001 the appellant had cut the hedge (Medh) of the paddy
    field of complainant Deshiram as a result of which the field of
    Deshiram went without any water. A Panchayat was called on the
    CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. …. OF 2019 @ SLP(CRL.) NO. 1907 OF 2019
    NARAD PATEL VS. SATE OF CHHATTISGARH
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    next day i.e. on 01.10.2001 in which the appellant allegedly abused
    complainant Deshiram and his brother Shyam Sunder and threatened to
    kill them. It was alleged that appellant abused said complainant
    Deshiram and his brother who were members of a Scheduled Tribe and
    thereby committed offence under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act. During
    the trial, certain witnesses who had attended the Panchayat Meeting
    were examined and the Special Judge, Raigarh by his judgment and
    order dated 23.09.2002 found the appellant guilty of the offences
    under Section 294 IPC and Section 3(1)(x) of the Act. The
    appellant was sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for three
    months on the first count and for six months under the second count
    with further imposition of fine and default sentence. The appellant
    was however acquitted of the charge under Section 506 IPC.
  4. In Criminal Appeal No.1101 of 2002 arising from the conviction
    and sentence as aforesaid, the High Court affirmed the view taken
    by the Special Judge and dismissed the appeal by its judgment and
    order dated 27.11.2018, which is presently under appeal.
  5. We heard Mr. Vikrant Singh Bais, learned Advocate for the
    appellant and Mr. Nizam Pasha, learned Advocate for the respondent.
  6. It is a matter of record that the appellant has already
    completed more than 4 months of imprisonment.
  7. It has been found that the appellant was not guilty of the
    offence under Section 506 IPC and the case presented by the
    prosecution in that behalf was completely rejected. According to
    CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. …. OF 2019 @ SLP(CRL.) NO. 1907 OF 2019
    NARAD PATEL VS. SATE OF CHHATTISGARH
    3
    the record, following certain acts committed by the appellant a
    Panchayat was held in which some abuses were hurled by the
    appellant. Going by the version of the complainant Deshiram
    himself, the expressions used by the appellant during the course of
    vertical altercation, did not refer to the caste or tribe that the
    complainant belonged though such assertion finds place in the
    testimony of the other witnesses.
  8. Thus, the fact that the appellant abused the complainant
    Deshiram is quite clear and as such his conviction and sentence
    recorded under Section 294 IPC was fully justified. However, going
    by the version of the complainant Deshiram according to which there
    was no reference to the caste or tribe of the complainant, there is
    a doubt as regards charge under Section 3(1)(x) of the Act.
  9. In the circumstances, while affirming the conviction and
    sentence of the appellant under Section 294 IPC, we grant him
    benefit of doubt and acquit him of the charge under Section 3(1)(x)
    of the Act.
  10. The appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent. The appellant
    be set at liberty unless his custody is required in connection with
    any other matter.
    ………..…..……..……J.

(Arun Mishra)
..………….……………J.
Uday Umesh Lalit)
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. …. OF 2019 @ SLP(CRL.) NO. 1907 OF 2019
NARAD PATEL VS. SATE OF CHHATTISGARH
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New Delhi
May 10, 2019
.