A bench of Justice Prakash Naik and Justice S C Dharmadhikari, in an order on April 7, asked the principal to file an affidavit by April 20, stating if he was prepared to tender an unconditional apology for sharing the joke.
The high court said it would pass an order after hearing both the parties on April 20.
The principal had shared a joke that referred to jobs obtained through reservation on the WhatsApp group. The peon, member of the group, felt aggrieved and filed an FIR against the principal under Indian Penal Code section 153 A (promoting enmity among people on grounds of religion, race, residence and language and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony).
The complaint also alleged that the principal violated certain provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
He added that forwarding a message on WhatsApp to members of the same group does not attract section 153 A. "Therefore, on both the counts, the first information report (FIR) does not disclose commission of any offence. Secondly, if the allegations are investigated and pursued, the same would only prove to be an abuse of the process of court," Mr Mankapure said.
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