A sessions court while acquitting a 26-year-old of the charge of attempt to murder of a policeman, found various discrepancies in the prosecution case and observed that the knife with which the policeman claimed to have been attacked was “planted” by the police.
The court before beginning to give reasoning for its judgment said that the affected party or victims in the case being police officers “it is human conduct that when the affected parties have some right of investigation against offenders, there is bound to be prejudiced approach against the accused.”
As per the Mulund police case, a head constable Pradeep Kumbhar was on night patrol duty at LBS Marg. Early morning on January 9, 2016, he received two wireless messages that two men who had indulged in chain snatching were proceeding towards Sonapur. He spotted a bike with two men coming in the opposite direction of traffic and then colliding with an auto. Kumbhar tried to apprehend the motorcycle rider. As per Kumbhar’s complaint, the man tried to attack him with a knife on his neck. He caught the man’s arm and his colleague constable Ganesh Khonde also came to his rescue. Khonde beat the man’s arm with his baton and the knife fell. Meanwhile, the pillion rider threatened the cops to let his friend go and threw a paver block at them while fleeing from the scene.
While the motorcycle rider Kazi Sayyed, 19, absconded during trial and has a non-bailable warrant pending against him, the trial against him was separated, the pillion rider Gazi Jafari, 26, who was later arrested, was acquitted in the case of the charge of attempt to murder. The court only convicted him under Section 353 IPC (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty).
Additional Sessions Judge AM Khan observed that while Kumbhar has stated in his deposition about receiving wireless messages about the chain snatching incidents and charged the duo with rash driving, the prosecution has failed to prove it by producing a copy of any wireless message or FIR of the chain snatching incidents. “In the absence of proof of commission of those offences it would be unsafe to hold that the accused were on the run after committing those offences,” it said.
It also observed that no injuries were caused by either the knife or the paver block to the policemen. Medical report of Kumbhar showed nail scratch marks, and no medical records were filed to show injuries to Khonde.
Further, Judge Khan observed that there is no explanation as to how the knife which fell on the ground at the spot as per the FIR, was found during the body search of Sayyed at the time of arrest. “This shows that the knife was planted,” the court held.
It also stated, “There was no reason for the accused to assault the police with a knife immediately after their arrival. A simple road traffic accident was given a colour as if the accused were on the run after committing the crime of chain snatching without any proof of the same.”