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CAA-NRC- No Evidence That Vehicles Were Damaged: Bombay High Court Grants Pre-Arrest Bail To 7 Protesters

Sparsh Upadhyay
20 Dec 2020 1:39 PM GMT
CAA-NRC- No Evidence That Vehicles Were Damaged: Bombay High Court Grants Pre-Arrest Bail To 7 Protesters
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Observing that the spot panchanama was not prepared to show that the vehicles were damaged during the Protest, the Bombay High Court on Thursday (17th December) granted Anticipatory Bail to 7 Alleged CAA-NRC Protesters. The Bench of Justice M. G. Sewlikar specifically observed that "there is no evidence to show that the vehicles were damaged." The matter before the...

Observing that the spot panchanama was not prepared to show that the vehicles were damaged during the Protest, the Bombay High Court on Thursday (17th December) granted Anticipatory Bail to 7 Alleged CAA-NRC Protesters.

The Bench of Justice M. G. Sewlikar specifically observed that "there is no evidence to show that the vehicles were damaged."

The matter before the Court

As per the FIR, on 20th December 2019, the applicants had joined the protest, launched against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration of Citizenship Act (NRC).

As per the allegations, at the Shivaji statute, the applicants and other protesters gathered holding green, black and blue fags and the banners in their hands.

Allegedly, the protesters turned violent and they started blocking the traffic and started giving slogans against the Hon'ble Prime Minister and Hon'ble Home Minister of India.

Also, allegedly, they started abusing police officers and other employees who were on duty. They caused damage to the vehicles of Fire Brigade. They also caused damage to the Medical Shops and hotels by pelting stones.

As per the allegations, this protest was organized without obtaining prior permission from the concerned authorities.

Therefore, FIR was lodged by the informant, PSI, Pallewad, on the basis of which offences punishable under Sections 143, 147, 148, 149, 188, 332, 336, 341, 353, 427 of the Indian Penal Code, under Sections 3, 4 of Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act and under Section 135 of Bombay Police Act came to be registered against the applicants.

Arguments put forth by the Applicants' Counsel

The counsel for the applicants submitted that contents of the FIR themselves disclose that custodial interrogation of the applicants is not necessary as nothing is to be recovered from them.

He submitted that none of the applicants were present in the protest and when he sought CCTV footage to buttress these contentions, the same was not provided to him.

He further submitted that the applicants complied with the conditions imposed by this Court, while releasing them on interim anticipatory bail.

He therefore, prayed for confirming the interim relief.

Court's Order

Noting that no evidence related to vehicles being damaged was shown, the Court observed,

"The Custodial interrogation of the applicants is not necessary. In this view of the matter, I am inclined to confirm the anticipatory bail."

Also, the Counsel for the applicants placed on record the acknowledgments of the Police Officers indicating that they remained present whenever they were called upon to do so.

To this, the Court said,

"This shows that the applicants have complied with the conditions imposed by this Court. In this view of the matter, I am inclined to confirm the anticipatory bail"

Counsel S.S. Kazi appeared on behalf of the Applicants.

Case title - Syed Moinuddin and another v. The State of Maharashtra and another [902 Anticipatory Bail Application No.107 OF 2020] / Saleh and others v. The State of Maharashtra and another [902 Anticipatory Bail Application No.120 OF 2020]

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