The Bombay High Court bench comprising Single-judge Justice Milind Jadhav in the case of Dr Lekha Visaria vs State of Maharashtra chastised the complaining teacher for erecting a poster calling for the School principal’s (appellant) arrest and has further granted anticipatory bail to the appellant booked for hurling casteist abuses against a teacher belonging to a Scheduled Caste community.
The Court stated that the complainant should not have used extra-judicial remedies after following the proper criminal procedure of filing a complaint with the police and discouraged complainants from using such strategies to exert pressure on prosecuting officials.
In an FIR filed under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the appellant principal has asked the court for anticipatory bail.
The appellant allegedly in his cabin invited and humiliated the complainant teacher that because she is from a lesser caste, she should teach lower grades (classes 5 and 6) rather than class 10.
In her defence, the appellant stated that the complainant was one of several teachers who had made mistakes when judging class 10 results and teaching English. As a result, it was decided that she would no longer teach class 10 and would instead teach classes 5 and 6.
Despite the fact that the incident occurred in October 2021, the complainant did not file a FIR until February 2022, after the management asked her to teach lower grades.
“If the complainant was genuinely hurt by the incident, she would have immediately lodged the complaint as any prudent person is expected to do, if she was right in her complaint. I need not detain myself with going into the nitty-gritty of the specific complaints against the complainant but a reasonable case is made out by the Appellant that the report filed by the complainant may be an outcome of vengeance and vendetta against the appellant and the management of the school,”The Court Observed
The judge also considered the appellant’s claim that the complainant was not present in the school when the alleged incident occurred.
As a result, the court granted the school principal pre-arrest release.
The appellant was represented by lawyers Rishi Bhuta, Ankita Bamboli, and Sagar Shahani.