Court asks cops to drop Atrocities Act charges on man accused of cheating
Estate agent was wrongly booked under the law, says his advocate In yet another instance of misuse of the Atrocities Act, Lonikand police had booked a businessman for cheating under the sections of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
When he was produced before the sessions court, the court found that the offence committed by the accused does not hold water under the Atrocities Act. The court, therefore, passed an order to drop the sections of the Atrocities Actand directed them to produce him before the court of judicial magistrate of first class.
Police had booked Samir Charak in connection with a cheating case on May 25, 2019. He was arrested and produced before the court on June 13. Sudhakar Khude, a resident of Lonikand, had filed a complaint against Charak. According to Khude, he had purchased two plots worth Rs 6.62 lakh from Charak in Shindewadi area. However, Charak did not finish the sale deed and allegedly kept avoiding the complainant. Meanwhile, another party approached Khude and agreed to purchase the land for Rs 7.25 lakh. Khude then started requesting Charak for the sale deed, but Charak apparently went back on his words. Charak eventually said that he had paid Khude 7.25 lakh and asked him not to sell the land to a third party.
In December 2018, Charak had deposited a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to Khude’s son’s account. Due to insufficient funds, the cheque had bounced. Then he again gave a cheque of Rs 7.25 lakh twice, which also bounced. When the complainant approached the cops, he came to know that the accused had cheated other people too in a similar manner.
Lonikand police booked Charak under section 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and also relevant sections of SC/ST Act.
Advocate Sachin Thombare who represented the accused told Pune Mirror, “This case is a typical example where the SC/ST Act is used to pressure and harass the people to take out personal grievances. The sections of the Atrocities Act levelled against Charak were dismissed so they had a remedy to proceed under Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.” “
In this case, the SC/ST Act is added with malicious intention. Police should verify the facts before filing any case under the Atrocities Act,” Thombare added.
The additional sessions judge Haribhau Waghmare said, “The averments made in the FIR clearly shows that the accused agreed to sell the plot to the informant but did not keep his words and the cheques issued by the accused were dishonoured. Thus the act alleged against the accused prima facie does not make for an offence under the SC/ST Act.