SC quashes case filed by Geetha Reddy
SC Quashes Case Filed By Geetha Reddy. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, quashed criminal complaint filed by and on behalf of erstwhile minister J Geetha Reddy against an officer of the State government Rangasai Bhatt as vexatious.
Hyderabad: A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, quashed criminal complaint filed by and on behalf of erstwhile minister J Geetha Reddy against an officer of the State government Rangasai Bhatt as vexatious.
The court made the order at the instance of Bhatt whose tales of woe started when he was posted as Deputy Director in the then department of Information and Public Relations. He complained that the police of Saifabad police station summoned him in 2010 and remanded him to judicial custody.He contended as a law-abiding citizen he was clueless of what was happening and why he was being so treated by the police.
He was also placed under suspension on the ground that he was in jail for over 48 hours . According to the petitioner, then Commissioner of Information and Public Relations Parthasarathy, IAS filed a false criminal complaint against him in Saifabad police station, Hyderabad on January 5, 2010 under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 It is further stated that the Commissioner does not belong to either Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, but as an overzealous IAS officer, in order to better his career prospects, appears to have taken up the case and cause of the then minister who incidentally, did not give any written complaint at all till date.
Counsel Dr Lakshmi Narasimham pointed out that even if the fact of the issuance of the said pamphlet is attributable to the petitioner it would not constitute an offence.” “on going through the entire pamphlet, we do not find that any caste as such is mentioned in the pamphlet. We also do not find any insulting words against the said Respondent No.5, because she belongs to a particular caste covered by the Act. No doubt there is severe criticism, on the decision taken by the said Respondent as a Minister, pertaining to promotions which according to the appellate are irregular.
A criticism, however, severe may be and even if it is unjustifiable, need not necessarily ;amount to insult so as to come under the purview of Sec.3(1)(x) of the Act. Only because the Respondent No.5 belonged to SC, any criticism against her will not amount to an offence under the Act. In other words, merely because Respondent No.5 belonged to a particular caste is not immune from criticism in respect of her official acts.
From the facts on hand, thus it is a case where the allegations in the complaint on the face of it do not constitute the offence. If that be so, continuance of such proceedings would be a sheer harassment.
The process under the Code shall not be used as a weapon for harassment”, the bench said.