Relief from Bombay High Court for 5, who harassed man for 10 years
Bombay: Bombay High Court Judges Vishwas Jadhav and Shrikant Kulkarni at the Aurangabad headquarters on Friday overturned an FIR filed against five men – all convicted of allegedly encouraging the suicide of a man, who left food and of water for a month before his death due to continued harassment by these men from 2010. These men were even sentenced under the provisions of the strict Scheduled Castes Act ( prevention of atrocities), because the deceased belonged to a reserved category.
According to the prosecution file, in September 2010, Bansi Gavali, now deceased, had signed a deed of sale for his 3-acre land with the accused Sayed Rahim for the consideration of Rs three lakh. In accordance with the agreement, the parties had agreed to re-transmit said land if Gavali pays an amount of Rs 4.5 lakh.
However, after a while when Gavali wanted to reclaim his land and agreed to pay Rs 4.5 lakh, Sayed refused to comply and demanded Rs 10 lakh from him. Despite several requests from Gavali, Sayed and four of his friends reportedly continued to insult and intimidate him.
Things continued like this for a decade and finally in January 2020, Gavali gave up food and water due to the immense harassment and mental torture and subsequently passed away in February 2020.
Gavali’s son alleged that his father died as a result of the torture inflicted on him by the five men and urged the judiciary not to quash the FIR as his father’s death should be considered suicide. He even pointed out that his father had been mistreated on behalf of his caste and therefore the SC / ST law would prevail.
After going through the FIR naked, the court noted that it had not mentioned even a single case of Gavali’s abuse on behalf of his caste publicly.
“Based on the allegations made in the FIR, it is difficult to accept, even prima facie, that Gavali’s death falls within the definition of suicide. In the first part of the FIR, it is alleged that since the year 2010, continuous harassment was caused by the accused in Gavali and they humiliated him, which led the deceased to give up food and succumb with death falling into the category of suicide, which is difficult to digest in the above scenario, ”the judges said.
“The mere refusal to perform the act of re-transfer cannot be a ground for continued harassment. Legal remedies were available to Gavali,” the judges said.
The bench also took into account Gavali’s death certificate which indicated it was a natural death since he died of heart disease.
Regarding the alleged suicide note submitted by Gavali’s son, the judiciary noted that it was vague and made no mention of the alleged harassment or the names of the defendants.
On the claim of caste-based insults, the court said: “No date and time is mentioned whether this incident took place in the morning or in the evening. It is safe to say that these allegations could have been made. brought against the accused only with the aim of giving another color and making the alleged incident more serious to put pressure on the accused “, estimated the judges.
The bench, referring to the provisions of the SC / ST law, said: “Intentional insults or intimidation with the intention of humiliating a member of an SC and ST, at any place in public view. , are the basic elements to attract justice. insults or intimidation against a person will not constitute an offense under this law, unless such insults or intimidation are attributable to a victim belonging to the reserved category.
“The object of this law is to improve the socio-economic conditions of the SC / ST as they are denied a number of civil rights. Thus, an offense under this law would be established when a member of the vulnerable section of the Society is subjected to indignities, humiliations and harassment ”, ruled the judges by breaking the FIR.