Assault on public servant cannot be tolerated: Bombay High Court

Observing that assault on an on-duty public servant cannot be tolerated, the Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by a man, who was booked for beating up a policeman after the latter insisted him to wear a mask.

A bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal, however, asked Goregaon police not to arrest another accused in the case, who is said to be a 70-year-old person.

The Bench was seized with the anticipatory bail applications filed by Saifuddin Qureshi and his father Mohiddin Qureshi (names changed), who were booked by the Goregaon police.

According to the prosecution, Saifuddin allegedly assaulted an on-duty constable, who was patrolling near the Samata Nagar area, in June this year. The cop found Saifuddin's shop was open.

The police claimed that the constable asked Saifuddin to shut the shop. The constable further asked him to wear a mask also.

"Instead of wearing a mask, the accused started beating up the constable. He even snatched the cop's lathi and then assaulted him with it," the prosecutor told Justice Kotwal.

Saifuddin's father Mohiddin later joined him to assault the cop, the prosecutor added.

The Bench was further told that there are two independent witnesses to the assault and both of them have identified the father-son duo from the CCTV footage.

Opposing the contention, the counsel of the accused submitted that the CCTV did not show his clients assaulting the cop.

Having heard both sides, Justice Kotwal said he cannot accept the contention of the accused as there are two independent witnesses in the case.

"The offence is serious. A public servant carrying out his duty in the interest of society was assaulted and this fact cannot be tolerated," Justice Kotwal said in his order.

"Therefore, the applicant Saifuddin does not deserve any protection considering the gravity of the offence," the judge added.

The court, however, granted protection to Mohiddin and has ordered him to pay RS 25,000 as bail bond.

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