Bombay HC on witnessing that assaulting a public servant on COVID-19 duty is a serious offence, rejected the pre-arrest bail to a man booked by Goregaon police in June for abusing and assaulting a police officer on duty, who only asked him to wear a “mask”, which is a necessity these days. However, the court granted protection from arrest to the man’s 70-year-old father because of his old age and a very less role in the alleged crime.
This judgement was passed by a single-judge bench of justice Sarang V Kotwal, who passed an order on pre-arrest bail applications filed by petitioners Khawaja Malang Qureshi and his father Malang Moiddin Quereshi via advocate Vijendra Kumar Rai.
Advocate Rai stated that CCTV footage was available and none of his clients were seen assaulting any police officers, he even added that his client Mr Khawaja was not present at the moment, some other guy assaulted the officer. He said his client came later and helped police to get rid of the mob. The applicants also denied any shop and allegations of sale of grocery articles from residential premises. The applicants claimed that statements of witness were manipulated and sought pre-arrest bail.
After hearing submissions and material on record from both the sides, the high court accepted police officer’s argument on identification of applicants and denied the claims made by Mr Khawaja that not being on the spot when the alleged crime took place.
Maintaining the applicant son (Mr Khawaja) did not deserve protection considering the gravity of crime, the single judge bench observed that the offence is serious. A public servant doing his duty for the good of society was assaulted and this fact cannot be tolerated.
Justice kotwal also added that considering the fact that father Mr Qureshi had a much lesser role in the assault and considering his age of 70 years, I am inclined to grant protection only to him.