A plea seeking registration of an FIR against Union minister V K Singh for his alleged “dog” remark in the aftermath of the burning of two Dalit children in Haryana was on Thursday withdrawn in a Delhi court. Additional Sessions Judge S K Malhotra allowed the complainant to withdraw his plea while granting him liberty to file a fresh complaint on the same issue. Complainant and advocate Satya Prakash Gautam said that after the amendment in the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 2015, the special courts were given the power to directly take cognisance of an offence under the Act.
The court had on February 16 sought the response of the former Army chief on a revision petition filed by the advocate challenging a magisterial court order dismissing his criminal complaint against Singh.
The magistrate had on December 7, 2015 dismissed his plea observing that no criminal offence was “ex-facie” made out against the minister.
The police had opposed the plea, saying no cognisable offence was made out against Singh for his alleged remarks on October 21, 2015.
The revision petition was filed by the complainant in December 2015, challenging the trial court’s order alleging that the magistrate “has only desperately tried to shield the proposed accused under various pretexts, including those not even on record, like the intention of the proposed accused while making impugned statements which were the basis of filing the present complaint”.
The court had said that for no reason Singh’s statement could be seen as a remark made to demean any caste or creed and it did not see the comment as an “analogy drawn between dog (as an animal) and humans (of a caste or creed)”.
The complainant had alleged that Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, had hurt the sentiments of the Dalit community by such remarks.
Singh had kicked up a storm with his alleged remarks in connection with the Faridabad incident that the government could not be blamed if anyone threw a stone at a dog.
The court had earlier directed the police to file an action taken report (ATR) on the complaint seeking lodging of FIR against Singh under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Information Technology Act and IPC.
The police, in its ATR, had told the court that Singh had not made any “specific derogatory and humiliating statement” warranting his prosecution on the complaint.