Pen councillor gets pre-arrest bail in intimidation case

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted pre-arrest bail to a councillor of the Pen Municipal Council, accused of attempting to assault and intimidate the chief officer of the civic body, after he tendered an apology.

Justice Sandeep Shinde last week granted anticipatory bail to councillor Anirudh Patil in the case lodged against him at Pen police station in Maharashtra's Raigad district under IPC Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging their duty) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

As per the prosecution, on October 16, during a meeting of the Pen Municipal Council's standing committee, an argument broke out between the accused and the complainant, Ranjana Dive, over the issue of non-issuance of notice to a person who had carried out illegal construction in Pen. Patil allegedly raised his voice against the complainant and also tried to assault her on two occasions.

Due to this, the complainant had to leave the meeting mid-way, as per the prosecution.

Justice Shinde said, "Upon reading the complaint, it not only suggests that the applicant (Patil) humiliated the chief officer (complainant) who was at the helm of affairs of the local authority, but by his gestures and disgraceful conduct deterred the chief officer from discharging her duties."

Patil's counsel Shirish Gupte told the court that the incident was unintentional, and was a result of misunderstanding due to the issue of illegal constructions affecting residents of Pen.

Gupte also submitted to the court Patil's written apology to the complainant.

The HC took note of the apology and granted pre-arrest bail to Patil on a bond of Rs 25,000.

The court directed him to appear before the police station concerned and cooperate with the investigation into the case.

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