Facts and Background
On July 12, 2017, at 6 p.m., Dr Preeti Meena, I.A.S., Collector and District Magistrate, Mahabubabad, filed a written complaint with Mahabubabad Town Police Station, alleging that on the same day, at approximately 12:35 p.m., while attending the “3rd phase Harita Haram” programme at NTR Stadium, Mahabubabad, with the Joint Collector, Mahabubabad Revenue Divisional Officer, and other officials, the accused (hereafter referred to as petitioner) grabbed her hand and pushed her indecently and disrespectfully from one location to another in public, causing her great annoyance and impeding her legitimate tasks.
As a result, she urged that the police take action. The Inspector of Police, Mahabubabad Town Police Station, registered a case against the accused of violating sections 353, 354, and 509 of the Indian Penal Code. Following the filing of the case, the Sub-Inspector of Police began his investigation. Following the investigation, the sub-inspector filed a charge sheet with the court. The petitioner, in turn, filed a petition under section 239 of the CrPC, demanding that the court absolve him of his crimes, which the Trial Court denied. The petitioner, enraged, arrived at the Hon'ble High Court's premises.
Sri. A. Prabhakar Rao argued before the Hon'ble Court that the Trial Court dismissed the plea filed by the petitioner under Section 239 CrPC without considering the evidence on record. He further indicated that the prosecution's evidence did not reveal the commission of any crimes, much less those under sections 353, 354, and 509 of the IPC.
He went on to explain how the Special Sessions Judge, without even considering the statements of witnesses recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, obstructed the accused's release under Section 239 of the CrPC. Seeing his client in purgatory, he claimed that the provisions under which the accused was charged did not even match the minimum requirements, but that his client was nonetheless given a whipping in the proceedings.
Arguments made by the Respondents
The State's learned Public Prosecutor argued that statements recorded under section 161 CrPC during an investigation conducted by the sub-inspector of police at Mahabubabad Police Station reveal that the accused tried to insult her while she was performing her duty, primarily to outrage her modesty and pave the way for her to dereliction of duty.
He also stated that the issue of discharging the accused before the filing of charges does not arise because Section 240 of the CrPC has already been incorporated pro prio vigore.
Observation of the Court
The Hon'ble Court stated that the court cannot intervene with the Trial Court's order under section 239 of the CrPC unless and until the respondent's counsel has demonstrated that there is a real risk of substantial harm to the accused's rights.
The Hon'ble Bench remarked in the Courtroom that the allegations levelled against the accused, that he grabbed her hand, pushed her from one place to another in a disdainful manner, and stood as a thorn in her path while she was performing her duty, are supported by the statements of witnesses recorded by the sub-inspector under Section 161 CrPC.
The Criminal Revision Case was dismissed by the court. It also stated that the trial court must decide the case on its own merits, without being influenced by any of this court's observations.