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  • The Karnataka High Court dismissed legal action taken against an accused under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, on the grounds that the complainant was subjected to alleged abuse in a basement that was not open to the public or visible from the street.
  • When read together, the complaint, the summary of the charge sheet, and the statement of one of the witnesses, CW-2 in particular, it was clear that abuse had been hurled at the basement where CWs 1 through 6 were working and that no other person was even present there.
  • It was claimed that the accused/petitioner went to the site where the complainant (Mohan) was working and urged him to stop what he was doing. 
  • It is claimed that the accused/petitioner addressed the complainant using the name of his caste, threatened his life, and impeded construction progress after the latter refused to stop the work. 
  • It was claimed that the incident happened in front of witnesses CW-2 to CW-6. 
  • In response, a complaint was filed against the petitioner by the second respondent/complainant, who claimed that he had hurled insults on the petitioner's caste, which would constitute an offence punishable under Sections 3(1)(r) and 3(1)(s) of the Act. A charge sheet was submitted by the police following an inquiry.
  • The bench noted that the current criminal case was started following the petitioner's progress in obtaining an injunction against the complainant's employer, Jayakumar R.Nair.
  • The SC/ST Act's Sections 3(1)(r) and 3(1)(s) were then cited, and it was observed that "hurling abuse must either be in a public location or a place of public view in order for the offence to become punished under these Sections."
  • Additionally, the court noted that the registration of crime suffers from a lack of legitimacy.
  • The court observed that for an offence under Section 323 IPC, an injury caused in the argument. 
  • After reviewing the documents it would demonstrate that the wound certificate only depicts two scratch marks—one on the forearm and the other on the chest.
  • Bleeding is not shown in the given situation. Therefore, under Section 323 of the IPC, simple scratch marks cannot be considered an offence.
  • Where the IPC's Sections 504 and 506 are concerned, they are unquestionably a result of the claims made under the Act. All of the claimed offences are therefore unsupportable given the unique circumstances of the current instance. 
  • Thus, the petition was allowed. 
     
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