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Sabarimala Violence Case – Kerala High Court Quashes Proceedings against K.P Sasikala, & SJR Kumar

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Kerala. Kerala High Court (on 3rd June) dropped all charges against Hindu Aikya Vedi leader K. P. Sasikala and Sabarimala Karma Samithi’s SJR Kumar for purportedly triggering a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the State to protest the entry of women into Sabarimala temple in 2018.

Justice Ziyad Rahman quashed the final report filed against the petitioners finding that the allegations were not properly substantiated by the prosecution.

“After examining all the relevant inputs, I am of the firm view that none of the offences alleged against the petitioners are attracted. The prosecution against the petitioners in pursuance to Annexure-B (final report) is a clear abuse of process of law. In such circumstances, I am inclined to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Section 482 CrPC. In the result, the CrlMC is allowed.”

The prosecution argued that on 03.01.2019, accused committed mischief by vandalizing the auto-rickshaw owned by the de facto complainant and thereby caused damage to the auto-rickshaw. It is further alleged that a hartal was called by the petitioners, and they were thereby charged under Sections 294(b), 506(i), 427 r/w Section 34 of IPC.

The petitioners accordingly moved the High Court seeking to quash all further proceedings pursuant to the final report.

“On perusal of the records, it is evident that in none of the statements of the witnesses recorded under Section 161 of Cr.P.C., the names of the petitioners are seen mentioned. Apart from the mere statement that the petitioners have called for a hartal, there is absolutely nothing mentioned in the final report indicating the culpability of the petitioners.”

Regarding the allegation of calling for hartal, the Judge held that the same by itself cannot be an act attracting any of the offences alleged. Even though the petitioners are seen implicated on the strength of Section 34 of the IPC, there are absolutely no materials indicating any common intention being shared by the petitioners with the accused 3 to 5, it was found.

As such, the final report was quashed and the petitioners’ application was allowed.

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