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'Do You Take Cognisance Of Facebook Posts Only When They Are Against Politicians?' – Bombay HC Raps Pune Police

Sharmeen Hakim
22 Sep 2022 5:39 AM GMT
Do You Take Cognisance Of Facebook Posts Only When They Are Against Politicians? – Bombay HC Raps Pune Police

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday grilled a senior police inspector from Pune for his conduct in a matter pertaining to a woman lawyer's safety.

A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Prithviraj Chavan were hearing two petitions filed by Advocate Noor Yaqoob Sayed in which she accused Senior PI Sardar Patil of failing to take any action on her compliant related to the death threats issued to her - some of them were given through social media. She further alleged that the police officer insulted her when she tried to complain.

"So you take cognisance of Facebook posts only when it is against a politician? Is this not a sensitive issue? When derogatory words are being spoken, doesn't it constitute an offence? What is the legitimate expectation of a person who goes to the police station - that the officer acts in accordance with law. Are you there to protect or take sides? We deprecate this conduct of the officer and the language used," Justice Dere said.

The judge particularly took exception to an incident narrated in the petition, wherein Sayed claimed that the office allegedly told her to be ashamed of the trouble she had caused to a family of another religion.

"We deprecate this conduct of the officer and the language used. He is fuelling disharmony between two communities; how can we permit this? Now the complaint will be recorded and taken to its logical end. Its your job to ensure law and order is maintained," Justice Dere added and directed Patil, who was present in court, to act on petitioner's complaint in accordance with law and save CCTV footage of all the relevant dates.

In her plea, Sayed said her housing society's ad-hoc committee was collecting huge sums in the name of maintenance and even threatened to cut water supply if money wasn't paid in advance. Those accused in her complaints include one Wasim Iqbal Khan, Swaleha Wasim Khan, Bharat Jadhav, Nadeem Badruddin Sayyed and Ateeka Nadeem Sayyed.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Advocate MS Adenwala said Sayed was keen on remaining present but was practically kept under house arrest with society members sitting in the building lobby to ensure she didn't move out.

He narrated an earlier incident wherein nearly 40 people gathered with swords and hockey sticks below the house, switched off the lights of the building CCTV camera and asked her to come down. When the police finally arrived, they asked her to come down and accompany them to the police station, according to the plea.

Sayed claims that when she refused, an FIR was registered against her.

"Which society collects Rs. 1.7 crore from its members as maintenance," the bench asked at the outset.

The court particularly worried about the petitioner's security and directed for police protection to be provided accordingly.

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