FPJ Legal: Can't let politicians walk scot-free by assaulting public servants, says Bombay HC

Narsi BenwalUpdated: Thursday, July 15, 2021, 11:34 PM IST
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Bombay HC | File Photo

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Vishwas Jadhav and Shivkumar Dige last week noted the new trend of people assaulting public servants be it doctors, RTO officers, policemen or even bus conductors, while discharging their official duties. The HC accordingly, refused to quash proceedings against two members of Zilla Parishad, Mukhed in Nanded.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Madhav Sathe and Shivaji Sonkamble both convicted for assaulting a public servant on duty, by a Magistrate court. The duo moved the bench led by Justice Jadhav seeking to quash their conviction on the ground that they have amicably settled the dispute.

As per the prosecution case, the duo had phone called a clerk in the irrigation department, Mukhed. But since the clerk didn't answer their phone call both Sathe and Sonkamble went to his office and assaulted him due to which he sustained injuries.

Before the HC the duo through their counsel P R Katneshwarkar submitted an affidavit stating that "they are politicians having good future in politics."

"Though in the compromise petition, it is stated that the applicants (Sathe and Sonkamble) have tendered an apology and therefore, the clerk is not interested in their conviction, however, in our considered opinion, they have not shown repentance on their part and even they have not assured as not to repeat the mistake in future," the judges noted in their order.

The bench accordingly noted the latest trend of assaulting public servants.

"We have noticed that nowadays there is a growing tendency to make assault on public servants discharging their official duties under various pretext. There are cases of assault on the public servants in connection with excavation of sand illegally from the river bed, assault on doctors and hospital staff and causing damage to the public property, assault on RTO officials by the errant drivers, assault on the officials of MSEDCL and the drivers and conductors of MSRTC, assault on police staff enforcing the Covid norms at public places etc," Justice Jadhav noted.

"This tendency needs to be discouraged by taking stringent view in such matters," the judges added.

The bench further noted that the accused in the instant case have settled the matter for their 'good future in politics.'

"In our considered opinion, the ends of justice could not be secured by accepting such type of settlement. We are not inclined to set up an altogether new trend encouraging the politicians, as in the present case, to settle their dispute post-conviction to achieve better future political prospects," the bench said while dismissing their appeals.

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