Decided on March 01,2013



- (1.) This appeal has been preferred against the judgment and order of conviction dated 9/11.7.2001 rendered by Additional Sessions Judge, Rudraprayag in Special Sessions Trial No. 5/2001, State v. Devendra Singh & two others. Two other accused persons are parents of Devendra Singh. All three were tried for the offences under Section 323, 504, 506 IPC read with Section 3(1)(x)&(xi) of the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for brevity, hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'). Learned Trial Judge found the appellants guilty for the offences of Section 352, 504, 506(2) IPC read with the offences of the Act indicated above. For the offence under Section 352 and 504 IPC, only sentence of fine has been imposed, while for the offence under Section 506(2) IPC and for the above offences under the Act, each of the convicts appellants directed to undergo six months' rigorous imprisonment along with fine of rupees five hundred each.
(2.) Backdrop of the prosecution story is a little quarrel over the water rights upon the natural water source. From that source indicated as point 'D in the site plan Ex. Ka-5, water is carried to a water chamber constructed at the expenditure of the Government and the same has been indicated as point 'A' in the said site plan. From 'A' to 'B', the distance of 78 paces is covered by a water pipeline. That further goes ahead to the dwelling place of the accused persons indicated as point 'C' in the site plan. The complainant and victims belong to Scheduled Caste community. Number of Scheduled Caste persons are few in the vicinity, just 3-4, while upper caste persons (Thakurs) are in abundance. The dispute arose when some ladies of the Scheduled Caste community, namely, Smt. Parvati Devi, wife of complainant Chandra Lal, Smt. Sulochana Devi, wife of Devi Lal and another Smt. Sulochana Devi, wife of Patilal came to fetch water at point 'B' which was a water tap post. The accused persons interrupted them and created every hurdle to prevent them from collecting the water. Chandra Lal approached the District Magistrate concerned on 9.6.2000 with a written report Ex. Ka-1, but the same was not paid any heed by the District Magistrate or his subordinates. So, the resistance of the accused persons proceeded for couple of months further. Informant Chandra Lal and his fellow community members became hapless to bear the same.
(3.) Further on the date of incident i.e. on 8.6.2000, a bout of verbal scare escalated and the aforementioned ladies were not permitted to fetch the water from the spot. Their buckets were snatched and the words of derision like "dumra", "dumri" were uttered by the accused persons with intention to insult and intimidate them. In this backdrop, FIR Ex. Ka-2 was lodged on 6.12.2000. Chick report is Ex. Ka-3. Matter was investigated by an officer of the rank of Circle Officer, who submitted the chargesheet as mentioned above. Charges were levelled and the trial commenced.;

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