A citizen entering a government office is not a trespasser: Kerala HC
Why should the police foist a false case of trespass against a citizen entering a Government office to ventilate his grievance? It is gross illegality and should be struck down necessarily, said the Kerala High Court.
Jaidas, a farmer from Thrissur, had entered the office of Assistant Director of Agriculture to enquire about the status of the petition he filed to get electric connection for his motor pump.
At the office, some unpleasant exchange of words took place between Jaidas and the staff. It is said that they asked him to leave the office. However, Jaidas refused to leave unless they gave a proper reply to his petition. It is alleged that he was in a drunken state and abused someone in the office.
Upon a complaint, the police arrested him on charges of trespassing and preventing government officials from discharging their duties. He was also subjected to medical examination.
Jaidas approached the High Court to quash the police case and FIR filed in the Thrissur Magistrate Court.
Upon perusing the records and prosecution case, the High Court observed that the medical certificate has not mentioned even a word that he was under the influence of alcohol. The Court said that it is a false case registered by the police and cannot be acted upon. The court further quashed the case in the Magistrate Court.
The High Court said that Jaidas is a farmer and his entry to a Government office to enquire about the status of his petition cannot amount to a criminal trespass.
He is a citizen and has the right to enter the office to ventilate his grievance. The police have a definite case that he was in an inebriated state. But when he was medically examined, the doctor gave a negative report and not even the smell of alcohol was emanating from him. The stand of the accused that a false case was foisted on him to stifle his rights as a citizen cannot be ignored, the High Court said.
He has not committed any offence as alleged by the police, the Court held.
The power of the police and the proceedings in the Magistrate Court cannot be permitted to denigrate into a weapon to harass a citizen, the High Court said.
All citizens have access to government offices. The police case says that he has abused the staff in the office and the Assistant director. But, they have not disclosed the words used by him, the Court pointed out.