A sessions court has refused bail to a 20-year-old autorickshaw driver who had in December last year led to a policeman suffering a fracture, observing that Mumbai police personnel are repeatedly becoming victims of such incidents.
The accused had started his vehicle when asked for his driving licence and this led the policeman to be dragged for some distance.
The court observed that if the accused is released on bail it will convey the message that anyone can assault or exercise criminal force to deter a public servant discharging duty and get bail easily from court.
The incident took place at Station Road near Kurla police station when police official Kiran Taru was controlling traffic at 8 pm, December 14, 2022. Mr Taru had asked the accused Mohd. Siddhique, a Sion resident, to show his driving licence. Instead of showing his licence, Mr Siddhique started his vehicle and the policeman got dragged by the auto and sustained several injuries. Mr Siddhique allegedly fled with the auto. Mr Taru was taken to Bhabha Hospital where it was found that he had sustained a fracture. The accused was arrested with the help of CCTV footage.
The court said that it is constrained to note that Mumbai Police are repeatedly becoming victims of such incidents. “ Mumbai Police cannot exercise any force, even if someone like the applicant makes an assault and injures them,” the order by additional sessions judge MG Deshpande’s order read. The court further observed that democratically the police have the right to file FIR after sustaining such attacks and the accused can get bail easily from the court. This tendency is increasing in Mumbai and, if entertained, it will convey a wrong message to peace loving and law abiding people.
The court further said that the offence under Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code (assault of criminal force on public servant to deter from performing duty) is punishable by a term that can extend to five years of rigorous imprisonment and is non-bailable. “Therefore, the offence is serious,” it said.
Justice Deshpande noted that the policeman suffered a fracture, which shows the gravity of the offence and said this aspect cannot be ignored. “The way in which the incident took place, prima facie indicates how the applicant exercised criminal force to deter the policeman, who is a public servant, from discharging duty,” the court said. The judge said that against this background, the case is not a fit one to grant bail and rejected the youth’s bail plea.