4 July 2023 12:27 PM GMT
Dealing with a contempt plea concerning the flogging of certain accused who allegedly pelted stones at a Gabra event in the State’s Kheda District last year, the Gujarat High Court on Monday asked the state government as to whether any law permits that ‘an accused can be tied up to a pole and beaten up in full public view?’ The Bench of Justice AS Supehia and Justice MR Mengdey...
Dealing with a contempt plea concerning the flogging of certain accused who allegedly pelted stones at a Gabra event in the State’s Kheda District last year, the Gujarat High Court on Monday asked the state government as to whether any law permits that ‘an accused can be tied up to a pole and beaten up in full public view?’
The Bench of Justice AS Supehia and Justice MR Mengdey made this observation while dealing with a plea moved by 5 members of a Muslim family seeking contempt action against several Police officers for allegedly tying and beating them up in full public view, cheering on and recording the incident, and circulating it in social media.
The Police action occurred allegedly in the aftermath of the communal clash in Undhela village situated in Matar Taluka of Kheda district on October 3. Allegedly, some intruders pelted stones at the crowd during Navratri celebrations; thereafter, at least 40 persons were arrested by the police, some of whom were publicly flogged.
On Monday, when the Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin, appearing for the state, sought to point out as to how the accused persons were involved in stone pelting, the bench, in specific terms, asked him as to whether the state was accepting that the alleged flogging incident took place, or not.
“Whether the incident of tying them to the cot and thereafter, beating them with lathis, has occurred or not?...We are not going to decide this case on the basis of passion. Either you deny it (flogging incident) that it did not occur at all, or you can say that yes, this was our duty and these all are the reasons, and if you would not have done so, something worse could have happened,” the Bench asked.
In response to this, the PP submitted that before he said that his endeavour is not to justify any act, if at all it has happened, however, he added that he wished to place certain records before the Court.
However, he further submitted that prior to the alleged incident, the members of the Muslim community had hatched a conspiracy to prevent the members of the Hindu community from playing Garba in the said village during the Navratri festival. Earlier also, they had disrupted the Holi festival,
He also submitted that Muslim men attempted to derail the festival and the police had to intervene to control the situation.
“I am trying to make an endeavour to explain that such was the situation where the police officers were bound to see that situation do not flare up disturbing law and order situation. At that time, they would not sit with DK Basu (case guidelines). They just wanted to control the situation,” PP Amin Submitted.
“Definitely, they must control the situation. But we are concerned with what happened subsequently. The issue before us relates to the guidelines. We are not doubting the manner and method you tried to handle the situation. The question concerns after they were taken into custody and the subsequent incident took place…Point out the provision of law whereunder a person who is detained or an accused, can be tied to a pole and beaten in full public view. Point out that it can be done” Justice Supehia said to PP.
The bench further asked the state to deny the incident, however, since the PP was reluctant to do so, the bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 6
Senior Advocate IH Syed appeared for the petitioner.