Delhi High Court has directed initiation of proceedings against police officers. For the reason of not registering FIR upon receiving complaints of abuse and harassment of a Dalit man. The issue of such proceedings comes under Section 4 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The aggrieved Dalit man ran from pillar to post to get justice, but the present case exemplified the height of deafness of Delhi Police, especially the SHO of the concerned police station, noted Justice Suresh Kait. The Criminal appeal was moved under Section 14 on the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, as well as under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Observations of the Case
The appellant moved the court claiming that he was continually harassed and criminally intimated for his identity as a person belonging to a Scheduled Cast. He contended that the defendants publicly humiliated, threatened and abused him by using derogatory casteist slurs, alongwith criminal intimidation. Adding, that the defendants formed a WhatsApp group to plot an acid attack on the appellant; and to torture and kill his trainer, and his counsel, Mr. Kapil Modi.
Thus, the appellant went to register a complaint at Fatehpur Beri Police Station again. However, the police officials again disgracefully refused to register his complaint and turned him away. Finally, the appellant tweeted to the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Delhi Police.
Mr Kapil Modi, appearing on behalf of the appellant, urged that the Additional Sessions Judge wilfully neglected their duties. The duties prescribed under sections 5 and 4 read with section 15A (8) (C) of SC & ST Act read with Rules 5 & 7 of the Rules 1995. Also, they knowingly disobeyed the observations of Lalita Kumari’s case. He cited that the Metropolitan Magistrate and the ASJ failed to discharge their judicial duties. However, the State counsel urged that the appellant lacked a prima facie case under SC/ST Act. They also urged that the appellant never lodged any complaint.
Delhi High Court’s Order
The Court said that – ‘there was an imminent danger of the life and persons of the appellant. He lost his peace of mind because being in reasonable apprehension of danger to his person and completely disturbed and perturbed fearing acid attack from the alleged accused persons. Moreover, there was a reasonable and bona fide belief that evidence in electronic form may be destroyed or tampered with.‘
It went on to highlight the SHO of Police Station Fatehpur Beri were duty-bound to entertain the complaint and perform his duty required to be performed under section 4(1) and 4(2) of the SC/ST Act. however, he failed to do so. Moreover, the courts below have ignored the above facts.
Further, the Court found Mr Kapil to be competent enough to represent the case. The International Dressage Development League (IDDL) and the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) recognize his contribution. Owing to significant contribution in making the Olympic sport of dressage accessible to Dalits via the IDDL competition platform.