Mumbai: Nearly five years after the Mumbai Police booked 35 fishermen for creating a ruckus near Mazgaon, the Bombay High Court ordered the quashing of the First Information Reports (FIRs) filed against them.
The HC has ordered them to file undertakings that they would not indulge in any activity that would disrupt public tranquillity in the area.
A bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and NR Borkar also ordered the fishermen to together pay Rs 35,000 to the Police Welfare Fund.
The bench was dealing with a plea jointly filed by these 35 fishermen, who belong to two different groups. The groups created a riot like situation near the Arabian sea coast near Mazgaon in April 2015.
However, the fishermen now claim that they have amicably settled the dispute and, thus, urged the bench to quash the FIRs registered against each of them.
In their defence, the fishermen argued that the boundaries in the sea and along the coast are not demarcated, which led to 'confusion' and a quarrel between the two groups.
To substantiate their claim of an amicable settlement, the fishermen tendered an unconditional apology for the incident.
Having considered the apology, the bench noted, “We have looked into the FIRs, which record the damages (due to the ruckus by fishermen) of Rs 10,000 only.”
“We find that the interest of justice can be met with by directing these 35 fishermen to file their separate affidavits with the Yellow Gate Police station to maintain peace and law and order situation and to not indulge in any such conduct in the future, the bench said with a directive to all of them to pay Rs 15,000 towards the damages, as mentioned in the FIRs.
“In addition, they shall also pay an amount of Rs 1,000 each, i.e., a total amount of Rs 35,000 to the Police Welfare Fund of Maharashtra,” Justice Dharmadhikari said while quashing the FIRs.