Noting the fact that many a citizen still does not follow lockdown rules, the Bombay High Court on Monday said the alleged brutal action by the police against such citizens is only one side of the coin. The HC however, ordered the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, to constitute a special investigation team to probe the death of a man after he was allegedly thrashed by police who were enforcing lockdown norms. The team must submit its report by September 21, the court said.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai said that there are "black sheep" everywhere, as citizens continue to flout lockdown rules.
The judges were dealing with a PIL filed by one Firdause Irani, highlighting police brutalities and the torture citizens were subjected to, for not following lockdown norms. He claimed that police assaulted citizens even for not wearing masks.
Having heard the submission, CJ Datta pointed out that this was only one side of the story.
"This (police brutality) is only one side of the coin. We all should accept the fact that there are many of us who still do not follow the lockdown guidelines and the norms. There are these black sheep everywhere," CJ Datta remarked.
However, Irani pointed out mere violation of norms did not allow cops to thrash citizens.
Interrupting the submission, CJ Datta said, "It is not for us to decide in which case should police use force and in which, not. We are of the considered opinion that every case cannot be painted with the same brush."
"Let us be clear, if citizens violate laws, which are meant for the public at large, then they have to be dealt with a strong hand. Thus, there are policemen who think that just because they have lathis, they can use them," the CJ observed.
The judges further took cognizance of the specific case of a man, who had died due to alleged thrashing by four policemen wielding fibre lathis in suburban Juhu. The bench accordingly ordered city's top cop to constitute a special investigating team (SIT) to probe this matter and submit its report by September 21.