The Bombay High Court last Wednesday rejected an anticipatory bail application filed by a father and son who were accused of beating a cop who asked them to close down their shop in June at around 11 pm. An assault on a public servant on duty cannot be tolerated, said the court.
Justice SV Kotwal heard the application filed by Khwaja Qureshi and Malang Qureshi who were booked for offenses committed under Sections 353, 332, 188, 269, 270, 504, 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code ( IPC).
The incident took place on 2nd June 2020 at around 10:45 pm when the first informant, Police Constable Dinkar Lilake saw a shop opened at the prohibited hours of the night in a residential area of the Mitha Nagar in Goregaon West, the prohibited hours were subject to the lockdown orders made by the Police Commissioner of Bombay. He witnessed that the shop owner was selling grocery articles in the area, the first informant went there and asked him to close the shop. He also asked him to wear his mask as the owner was without the mask. The owner ( applicant) Khawaja refused to do both the things and started abusing the informant and pushed him, snatched his wooden stick, and assaulted him. The other applicant, Malang who is also the father of the Applicant Khwaja also started abusing and beating the first informant. The information was given by PI Jadhav. He came there. Both the accused ran away from the scene and thereafter the FIR against them was lodged by Police Constable Dinkar Lilake.
Applicant's Counsel Advocate Vijendra Kumar Rai denied all the allegations and submitted that CCTV footage of the incident is available and none of the applicants could be seen assaulting the informant. He also submitted that Khwaja was not present at the spot and also not in the CCTV footage. Assault was made by some unknown.
He said that his client was trying to disperse the mob and he in fact tried to help the informant. He also stated that statements of eyewitnesses are manipulated and no one had seen the incident.
Whereas APP Rutja Ambedkar relied on the affidavit filed by the Investigating Officer which mentioned that two eyewitnesses, namely, Master Gaurav Anand Sawant and Usman Ismail Beg narrated about the assault made by the applicants. Also one of the residents, Tushar Satam identified the applicants when the CCTV footage was shown to him. APP Ambedkar submitted that such assault against the public servant on duty must be treated sternly and should be discouraged.
" Considering all the submissions and going through the affidavit filed by the Investigating Officer, it can be seen that the independent eyewitnesses have identified both the assailants. At this stage submission of the learned counsel for the applicant cannot be taken into account. The offence is serious. Assault on a Public Servant on duty cannot be tolerated Therefore, applicant Khwaja doesn't deserve any protection."
However, second applicant Malang was granted protection due to his old age of 70 years.