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Can't Subject A Citizen Not Wearing Mask/Following Lockdown Norms To Corporal Punishment: MP High Court Orders Action Against Policemen

Sparsh Upadhyay
28 May 2021 6:52 AM GMT
Cant Subject A Citizen Not Wearing Mask/Following Lockdown Norms To Corporal Punishment: MP High Court Orders Action Against Policemen
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday (May 27) reiterated its earlier direction that no citizen who is found not wearing mask or not following social distancing norms or not following lockdown conditions should be subjected to corporal punishment or beating. The Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan observed thus while directing the Superintendent of...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday (May 27) reiterated its earlier direction that no citizen who is found not wearing mask or not following social distancing norms or not following lockdown conditions should be subjected to corporal punishment or beating.

The Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan observed thus while directing the Superintendent of Police, Indore to take appropriate action against the erring police officials on complaints of excesses and beating by police.

The matter before the Court

A public interest litigation petition was filed by one Osheen Sharma and others, seeking direction to register FIR against two Police Constables posted at Police Station – Pardeshipura, Indore as they allegedly misused their powers subjected innocent rickshaw-puller to merciless beating.

The petitioners prayed for a direction to the respondents to constitute an independent Committee or Grievance Cell, who may examine the complaints against excesses misconduct of the Policemen.

Instances

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that according to the news article published in the newspaper Indian Express, Bhopal Edition on April 8, 2021 two constables of Police Station – Pardeshipura, Indore were placed under suspension after their video beating an auto-rickshaw driver became viral on social media; allegedly for not wearing the mask in a proper manner.

Earlier also, it was stated, the two policemen deployed at Malwa Mill Gate stopped the auto-rickshaw driver to explain why he was not wearing mask properly inasmuch as, the mask had slipped down his nose.

It was further submitted that the auto-rickshaw driver explained that since his father was ailing and was hospitalized, he was going to visit him but this did not appeal to the policemen, who asked him to come to the police station.

It was also submitted that on refusal to come to the police station scuffle took place between the policemen and the auto-rickshaw driver and he was forcibly dragged to the police station and the Son of the rickshaw driver standing over there pleaded before the policemen not to beat his father.

Thereafter the counsel for the petitioner pointed out to three other cases of police atrocity apart from referring to a case wherein a lawyer and two journalists were also subjected to assault by the police in Madhya Pradesh in the last three months.

Further, ordering action against the erring police officials, the High Court remarked that the policemen should rather counsel people by sensitizing them about the need of following Covid protocols such as wearing the mask, following norms of social distancing or abiding lockdown/Corona curfew restrictions.

Lastly, the Court said,

"This Court in this respect reiterates its earlier directions already issued in the order dated 17.5.2021, passed in W. P. No.8655/2021 (Shekhar Choudhary Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and others) that no citizen who is found not wearing mask or not following social distancing norms or not following lockdown conditions, should be subjected to corporal punishment or beating."

Case title - Osheen Sharma And Others Vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh And Others (W.P. No.9595/2021)

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