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Cong candidate in MCD poll discharged of casteist slur charge

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A woman candidate of the party, accused of allegedly hurling casteist slur at a voter and threatening him during MCD elections in 2012, has been discharged by a here.

Her comment "neechi jaati wala" did not specifically denote scheduled caste or scheduled tribe, but could be any lower caste, the said, adding that the allegation of giving out a threat was also missing from the complainant's statement.

According to the FIR, complainant Jogender was walking back after casting his vote when the woman, who was contesting the municipal body from Shahpur Jat ward here, allegedly shouted at him from her car.

The court, however, said it cannot be unambiguously inferred that the woman knew the caste of the complainant.

"The allegation is that the accused addressed the complainant as 'Neechi Jaati Wala'. From this allegation, it cannot be unambiguously inferred that the accused knew the caste of the complainant.

"The phrase could denote any lower caste, not necessarily the SC/ST caste. Criminal statutes require strict interpretation, therefore, clear allegations regarding the caste of the complainant should have surfaced during investigation which are conspicuously absent in the present case," Additional Sessions Judge A K Jain said.

The also noted that the allegation of threat was missing from the statement of the complainant.

The police had lodged an FIR on the complaint of Jogender for the alleged offence under the and the (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Denying the allegations, the counsel for the accused woman had claimed that 'Neech Jaat' does not mean the caste of the complainant as scheduled caste.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 17 2017. 10:48 IST