The High Court of Karnataka has quashed an FIR under Section 153A of the IPC observing that “merely inciting the feelings of one community or group without any reference to any other community or group cannot attract either of the offence under section 153A of IPC”.
- The FIR was registered against seven Muslim men on the basis of a complaint by one Roopesh Shetty that when he was standing by the road, a march of about 200-250 persons passed by, and some of the members of the mob abused as well as threatened him not to cross the road.
- He alleged that the mob was marching in such a way that the Hindus might get scared on seeing Muslims and shall escape.
- The FIR stated offences under Sections 341, 153, 504, 506 and 149 of the IPC
Observation of Court
A bench of Justice Micheal D Cunha referred to the Supreme Court verdict in the case of BILAL AHMED KALOO v. STATE OF A.P., AIR 1997 SC 3483.
Justice John Michael Cunha said “This is the imagination or mere assumption of the complainant and not the actual commission of an act by any one of the petitioners. As a result, even the basic ingredient of the offence under section 153A IPC is not satisfied so as to proceed with the investigation against the petitioners.”
While quashing the FIR, the Karnataka High Court observed that:
“I find that the allegations made in the FIR are baseless and do not prima-facie make out the ingredients of any of the offences so as to warrant investigation by the respondent police. The manner in which the allegations are levelled against the petitioners indicates that the complaint is motivated, vexatious, malafide and the same appears to have been made out of spite and ill-will. The proceedings initiated against the petitioners being wholly illegal and abuse of process of the court is liable to be quashed.”
The court further noted that:
“A reading of the complaint, in my view, does not prima-facie make out the ingredients of any of the above offences specified therein. There are no allegations in the entire complaint that the complainant was wrongfully confined or restrained by the petitioners or by any member of the mob. On the other hand, the case of the prosecution is that the complainant and others were waiting to cross the road when the procession was passing by. These allegations therefore even if accepted as true do not make out the ingredients of the offence under section 341 IPC.”
The court held that the ingredients of sections 504 and 506 IPC are not fulfilled so as to proceed against the petitioners. “In order to constitute offences under these provisions, the accused ought to have intentionally insulted or given provocation to the complainant or any other persons intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break public peace. Such allegations are conspicuously absent in the FIR.”
The Court elaborated that “Even though the petitioners are named in the FIR, yet there are no specific allegations that any of the petitioners herein either threatened intimidated or hurled abuses against the complainant. The allegations are general in nature.”
Cause Title: MOHAMMED ATAULLA A and State of Karnataka.
Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3768 OF 2020
Coram: JUSTICE JOHN MICHAEL CUNHA