{Caste Discrimination} Bombay HC granted bail to School Principal booked for insulting teacher belonging to Schedule Caste Community

Bombay Schedule caste teacher

MUMBAI: In Dr. Lekha Visaria vs the State of Maharashtra, Bombay High Court granted anticipatory bail to a school principal charged with abusing a teacher belonging to a Scheduled Caste community. The Bench headed by Justice Milind Jadhav also shows the disagreement with the complainant teacher for putting up a banner seeking the arrest of the principal. The Court stated that the complainant should not have exercised extra-judicial remedies.

“This approach of the informant in publishing a banner certainly would emanate from the thought for seeking vengeance against the appellant (school principal). Once the complaint is lodged, FIR registered, the publication of the banner is uncalled for. Complainant cannot seek extra judicial remedies to pressurize the prosecution,” the Court said.

“Prosecution will carry out the investigation on the basis of cogent material on record and its investigation process. Parties should desist from such acts and allow the prosecution to do its duty in accordance with law,” the single-judge underscored.

The Court was hearing a plea by the principal seeking anticipatory bail in the FIR registered for offenses under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

It was alleged that the appellant told the complainant teacher that since she belongs to a lower caste, she should teach lower classes (class 5 and 6) instead of class 10.

The appellant in her defense pointed out that the complainant was among other teachers, who had made mistakes in evaluating class 10 results and teaching English subjects. Thus, it was decided to stop her from teaching class 10, and was instead asked to teach classes 5 and 6.

Justice Jadhav noted that though the incident took place in October 2021, the complainant filed the FIR only in February 2022 i.e. after the management asked her to teach lower classes. The judge further took into account the contention of the appellant that when the alleged incident took place, the complainant wasn’t present in the school.

In view of this, the Court granted pre-arrest bail to the school principal.

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