Decided on February 04,1971

STATE (S.H.O.PAMARRU) Respondents


- (1.)The petitioners who figured as A-4 and A-6 in the trial Court were convicted along with others for an offence under section 504, Indian Penal Code and were sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 60 each and in default of payment of the same they were to suffer one month's simple imprisonment each. Altogether twelve p3rsons Were charge-sheeted for offences under sections 147, 323 and 504, Indian Penal Code and also under section 3 of the Untouchability Offences Act.
(2.)The case of the prosecution was that the accused belonged to the Kamma community and did not like the Madiga Harijans of the village going into the temple of Lord Krishna. On 30th April, 1969, the marriage of Kotesu, a Madiga was performed in the Harijanwada of the village. After the marriage, the bride and the bridegroom were taken in procession accompanied by music to the temple at about 6 P.M., and after breaking coconuts they were returning then it is alleged that all the 12 accused who were sitting on a pial at the house of the village munsif attacked the marriage party and caused injuries and as well insulted the Madiga community by saying, "Mean bestards of the Madiga community and untouchables of a deserted caste dare enough to come and enter into the Hindu temple and how dare they, being untouchable madigas, to enter into a temple and pollute and spoil the purity and the sacredness of the Deity". It will be noted that the learned Magistrate acquitted all the accused of all the charges excepting from the offence under section 504, Indian Penal Code. When an appeal was carried to the Court of Session, the learned Sessions Judge found only the petitioners guilty of the said offence and acquitted the rest.
(3.)The learned Counsel for the petitioners has contended before me that the charge under section 504, Indian Penal Code cannot be said to have been made out against these petitioners even when a large part of the prosecution case itself has been disbelieved. The witnesses who speak about the insult also are not consistent in telling what exact words were used by the accused. The first information report also does not mention the words uttered by the accused which constitute an insult. The learned Sessions Judge has convicted these two petitioners on the basis of what P.Ws. 1 and 3 have stated. P.W. 1 in his evidence speaks to the fact that A-6 caught hold of his tuft of hair arid said that the Harijan bastards should not enter the temple. But it will be seen that as far as the catching hold of the tuft of hair of P.W. 1 ,(P.W. 3) has stated that A-4 and some others abused them by saying that the Madigas are bastards and they are spoiling the temple. It will be observed that even if it is to be accepted that the petitioners had called them "Madiga bastards" it was in the course of the commission of the other offences and not With the knowledge of insulting the prosecution witnesses and that it was likely to result in breach of the peace. Mere abuse does not amount to insult unless it is accompanied with an intention to provoke a person intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause the latter to break the public peace or commit some other offence. Apart from this, there were as many as 12 accused and the case is that all of them abused the marriage party calling them bastards and to pitch upon only these two accused for throwing an insult at the Madigas would be unsafe.

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