Mumbai: A sessions court recently acquitted a 46-year-old man in a nine-year-old case of assaulting a BEST bus driver by a stone in Mahim in an incident of alleged road rage, concluding that the “entire story of assault by stone is concocted”.
The bus driver Ayodhyaprasad Yadav had claimed that on 29 February 2012, he was on duty on a bus from Santacruz Depot to Colaba. The bus had reached Kherwadi and he stopped it near the divider due to traffic, when an unknown man who was sitting pillion on a bike raised a hue and cry that the bus was blocking the road and then rushed to the driver’s cabin, opened it and pelted a stone at him.
In his deposition before the court he said that immediately thereafter passengers caught hold of the man and he had lodged the complaint against him, taking the bus to the police station. Additional Sessions Judge Abhijeet A. Nandgaonkar noted in his judgment that the investigating officer stated during testimony that the complaint was lodged in the evening after the informant was back from hospital where he was taken for treatment. The FIR mentions the time to be 12.15 pm, it stated. The court said the “contrary versions of the informant and the investigating officer create serious doubt over the prosecution’s case”.
The conductor, also a witness, had been declared hostile as he said he did not witness any assault. Another witness with respect to the seizure of the stone from the spot was declared hostile too as he said his signature was taken by the police at the police station after showing a stone.
The court also relied on the evidence of the medical officer who said during cross-examination that the injury could be self-inflicted. It said that this is sufficient to hold that the entire story of assault by stone is concocted.