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Can’t Seek “Extra-Judicial Remedies” To Pressurize Prosecution: Bombay High Court

The decision that a party cannot seek extra-judicial remedies was pronounced by the Bombay High Court through Justice Madhav Jamdar in the case of Dr. Lekha Rajesh Visaria v The State of Maharashtra and Ors. (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 513 OF 2022)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The complainant, a Swami Vivekanand School teacher, was allegedly called up and ordered to apologize after multiple errors were discovered in the mark sheet and appraisal of class 10 pupils during the monsoon 2021 exams. Other instructors were also required to engage in the same. However, it was claimed that on August 15, following the flag-hoisting ceremony, the principal degraded the complainant’s teaching abilities. She informed the trustee about this. The next day, though, she was presented with a notice for dereliction. The instructor was allegedly summoned to the principal’s cabin on the day of the event, October 5, 2021, alleging that the apology letter had yet to be sent. That is when the alleged casteist insults were made.

She claimed that two more instructors entered the cabin on the 5th, and the tirade continued in front of them. Following that, on December 1, 2021, the instructor was instructed to teach class 5 and 6 pupils instead of her grade 10 students, and twenty-three days later she informed the police, who lodged an FIR months later, in February.

The advocate for the principal said that the complaint was brought only after the teacher’s assessment and downgrading to classes 5 and 6. He emphasized the enmity and hostility between the complaint and the teacher was submitted. He emphasized the enmity and hostility between the complaint and the teacher. 

With regards to the delay in filing an FIR, the advocate of the teacher said that while she may have addressed the police a few months later, she had previously protested to the trustee, the board, and so on.

JUDGEMENT:

The court did note, however, that Prima facie, it is clear that the Appellant makes no reference to the informant’s caste in the statement that has been alleged to be offensive by the complainant. Concerning the eyewitnesses, the court observed that while it is alleged that there were two eyewitnesses to the occurrence, what was mentioned in front of the eyewitnesses is not recounted or complained of in the FIR.

Except for the event on October 5, 2021, there is no other particular occurrence about which the informant has submitted a complaint and which might even slightly invoke the terms of the Atrocities Act. As a result, the principal was given anticipatory bail.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

Click here to view judgement

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