M.L. Shrimal, J.
1. Heard learned Counsel for the petitioners and learned Public Prosecutor on behalf of the Sate.
2. Sheonath was indebted to the extent of Rs. 450/- to Kedarlal Sarpanch Sheonath went to a fair to sell his pair of bullocks, but he could not do so. While Sheonath and his son, Shyam Sunder, were returning to their village, the brother-in-law of the Sarpanch, Prahlad, in the company of Teja, met them. He told Sheonath that the Sarpanch wanted his presence at the Panchayat. In compliance with the verbal order of the Sarpanch Sheonath went to the Panchayat Office. Sheonath was tied down at the command of the Sarpanch and was belabourod. Shyam Sunder ran away out of fear. Thereafter Sheonath was taken to Kankari at the House of the Sarpanch. There he was tied to a Neem tree and was kept in the custody of Ram Narain, Kedar Lal, Sahab Lal and Bheru Lal. Next day morning at 9 00 O' clock he was taken near the temple of Balaji, where Kedarlal demanded Rs. 450/- from him. Sheonath expressed his inability to pay the money and as such he was again belaboured by the associates of the Sarpanch. Ultimately he was forced to send a word to his house to bring a bullock, which was sold for Rs 1350/-, out of which Rs. 1120/- were taken by the Sarpanch and Rs. 230/- were paid on account of Sabu. After committing the above atrocities Sheonath was left free to go to his house. Due to night and fear of the Sarpanch he did not develop sufficient courage to go to the Police Station. Next day morning he lodged the FIR with the Police Station. Thereafter a case was registered at the Police Station, Lakhari against the petitioners. A bail application filed by the petitioners under Section 438, Cr. P.C., was rejected by learned Sessions Judge, Bundi, on July 2, 1982. The police authorities, as usual, did not find it convenient to apprehend any of the accused-petitioners. They on the other hand were given an opportunity by their tacit consent to move this application before this Court.
3. Mr. Bhandari vehemently urged that his clients were innocent and were respectable men. One of them is a Sarpanch of the Panchayat and it would not be in the interest of society and justice to put them behind the bars. He further urged that nothing was to be recovered from them. In the end, he urged that at least the persons other than Sarpanch could be released on bail.
4. I have given careful consideration to the arguments advanced before me. It cannot be denied that Sheonath is a member of the Scheduled Caste. Atrocities on the members of the Scheduled Caste is a growing menanse in Rajasthan & elsewhere. A Sarpanch, who is supposed to protect the interest of the weaker section of the society, misused his official position along with other members. The poor man was caught hold and tied and was belaboured. He was left only when nearly three times the amount payable was recovered. The founding fathers of the Constitution never imagined that the head of local bodies, constituted under Article 40 of the Constitution, would act in the high handed manner, not known to the civilised society. It will not be a small gain to the people, if people in authority, drunk with power, are made to understand that crimes have their silent tongue. It roars and echoes in the atmosphere and law takes its own course ultimately without caring how so ever important and whatsoever position he or she holds in the society. It will be appropriate if the accused-petitioners surrender to the police or to the concerned Court. The concerned authorities will then consider the bail application on its merits as and when filed. An anti-social adventurer cannot claim for his nefarious and injurious activities any greater privilege. The paramount thing is to defend the society itself according to the rule of law. If members belonging to higher status in life show scant regard for the laws of the country, meant for public good, he cannot claim any indulgence in Courts of law. This is not a fit case in which power under Section 438, Cr.P.C., should be exercised.
5. The bail application under Section 438, Cr.P.C, is rejected. Any observations made in this order will not effect the merits of the case.