New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Madhya Pradesh government on a plea filed by whistleblower Anand Rai against the judgment of its High Court dismissing the bail plea in a matter related to Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Act (Prevention of Atrocity Act) 1989 [SC/ST Act].
A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud issued notice to Madhya Pradesh on Anand Rai's plea and listed the matter for further hearing on Friday.
Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha represented the petition filed by advocate-on-record Sumeer Sodhi.
According to the petition, Anand Rai has been incarcerated since November 15, 2022.
On December 12 2022, a Single Judge of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore refused to grant bail and dismissed his appeal filed under Section 14 (a) (2) of the SC/ST Act.
The First Information Report (FIR) in the matter was registered on November 15, 2022, after one Vikas Pargi at Bilpank in Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh lodged a complaint under sections 294, 341, 353, 332, 146,147, 336, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(1)(d), 3(1) (s) and Section 3(2)(a) of the SC/ST Act.
In the FIR, it was alleged that on the day of filing the complaint, Pargi had gone to attend a function at Badachapara on the occasion of Birsa Munda Jayanti. While returning back, he was following the convoy of local Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and the District Collector who had gone to attend other events organised by the governmental authority in the memory of Birsa Munda.
Around 1 pm near the village Dharad at Bhatibadodia road, he observed some workers obstructing the Organisation convoy Jayas, sloganeering and pelting stones as a result of which the gunman of District Collector suffered bruises on his nose, the FIR read.
The complainant had named 40-50 other assailants including Anand Rai.
The petitioner said that despite there being no specific allegations of abuse or act falling either under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 or the Indian Penal Code made out in the FIR, the Petitioner along with other co-accused was dragged in the said frivolous proceedings.
The petitioner said he is an activist and whistleblower who exposed the unpopular Vyapam Scam wherein the investigation unearthed the illegalities involving the wards of top-notch politicians and bureaucrats selected in the examination conducted for medical entrance in Madhya Pradesh without even appearing for it.
"The whole scam had political patronage. As a corollary, he suffered various transfers and enquiry from the hands of the government," the petition said.
"The present case is nothing but another bout of harassment and conspiracies hatched against the Petitioner by the government functionaries who intend to wreak vengeance at every possible opportunity against the Petitioner for having whistle-blowed the scam. The Petitioner is a law-abiding citizen and has neither been convicted by any Court in respect of any cognizable offence. The entire past record of the Applicant is unblemished and is without any objectionable nature except false implication in the cases launched due to political vendetta," the petition said.
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