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Civil matter cannot be converted into criminal matter on the basis of different caste

APPELLANT: B. VENKATESWARAN & ORS.

RESPONDENT: P. BAKTHAVATCHALAM.

FACTS:

  1. Original accused (petitioner)have conspired and unlawfully encroached the pathway adjacent to original complainant’s house.
  2. He started to construct temple built up on the complainant water pipeline, Sewage Pipeline and EB cable and thereby caused obstructions to him to enjoy his property.
  3. It was alleged that the accused persons prevented the complainant from putting up further construction on his building and also criminally intimidated.
  4. Accused filed petition in HC for quashing the criminal proceeding but HC refused. Hence the present appeal by the accused was made to SC.

ARGUMENT OF APPELLANT:

  1. In the entire complaint, there are no allegations that the complainant is obstructed and / or interfered with enjoyment of his right on his property deliberately and willfully knowing that complainant belongs to SC/ST.
  2. Prior to filing of the complaint, it appears that the temple was already in existence since many years. HC inspected and found out that there was no encroachment by the temple.

ARGUMENT OF RESPONDENT:

  1. The accused have unlawfully encroached upon the pathway.
  2. The accused started constructing the temple on complainant’s water pipeline, sewage pipeline and EB Cable.
  3. The accused committed atrocities on the peaceful living of complainant’s family.

OBSERVATION:

  1. The criminal complaint is nothing but an abuse of law and the court and also the act.
  2. Initiation of the criminal proceedings by the respondent against the appellants for the offence under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is nothing but an abuse of process of law as it never happened.
  3. It was merely a civil dispute which was converted to criminal dispute.
  4. In fact, complainant had violated all building norms and had constructed a building in blatant violation of the set-back rules and had also put-up unauthorized construction on the ground floor and first floor.

JUDGEMENT: Allowed.

BY: Anchal Pagar.

NLC, Bharati Vidhyapeeth, Pune.

Crl.A. No. 1555/2022 – D.No. 10389 / 2021 05-Jan-2023

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