Delhi High Court has refused to quash FIR against a person arrested for allegedly loitering around without a mask and manhandling a police officer.
While noting that there's no prima facie case for quashing the FIR, the Single Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar highlighted that the lockdown restrictions, imposed by the Government, which, if permitted unchecked, may result in loss of lives of millions, and cannot be tolerated.
The present application was moved under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code seeking court's direction to quash the FIR registered for offences under sections 188, 186, 269, 353, 332, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
As per the facts presented to the court in the status report, the Petitioner was known to the complainant Head Constable (HC) Rishi Kumar, and was a "bad character" of the area, was seen loitering in the area without wearing a mask, in violation of the Compliance Advisory issued by the Central Government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is further submitted that on the complainant attempting to control the Petitioner, with the assistance of Constable Pravin, Rahul caught hold of the collar of the shirt being worn by the complainant and tore the shirt.
The Petitioner is also alleged to have assaulted Constable Pravin, by kicking him. During the incident, Petitioner's brother arrived at the spot, and joined him in assaulting the complainant, by administering kicks and blows.
The Petitioner's counsel submitted that there are major inconsistencies in the narrative presented by the police. He further submitted that the MLC report clearly suggests that it is the Petitioner who incurred the bite marks.
In order to prove his submissions, the Petitioner had also sought for the CCTV footage to be taken into record.
While taking the submissions into consideration, the court observed that while deciding a petition under section 482 of CrPC, the court cannot enter into detailed appreciation of evidence.
Therefore, the court, after analysing the prima facie material placed before it, refused to quash the FIR by highlighting that:
'The acts of the petitioners, if true, are inherently inimical to public and societal interest as a whole. Acts, often innocuous, may have catastrophic consequences and courts, in cases such as these, cannot permit themselves to be carried away by the physical nature of the act as committed, unmindful of the results that would ensue, were such acts to be tolerated.'
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