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Enjoyment Of Liberty By Persons Overreaching Law Not Comprehended In Constitution, Legal Consequences Bound To Follow: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
6 Aug 2022 7:00 AM GMT
Delhi High Court
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"Any attempt to create an impression that one can over reach the law and still he can enjoy the liberty would not be comprehended in the constitutional scheme," the Delhi High Court has observed while denying anticipatory bail to a man in a rioting case.

Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav added that when an individual behaves in disharmonious manner, society disapproves and the legal consequences are bound to follow.

The development came in an FIR registered under sec. 145, 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 308 and 505 of Indian Penal Code and sec. 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.

It was the case of the petitioner, who is the president of Purvanchal Nav Nirman Sanghathan, that a peaceful protest was organized on July 7 seeking fair and impartial investigation in relation to a murder of a poor lady Radha Devi.

It was argued that since the petitioner was a known figure of the locality and also one of the protestors, he was been wrongly framed in the case. It was also submitted that the petitioner was in fact guiding the protestors not to use any violence or cross their limits.

On the other hand, the prosecution argued that the request for organising protest was declined by the police department owing to Covid-19 pandemic and considering the fact that the law and order situation in the area was not very conducive.

It was alleged that there was a gathering of about 300-350 people without any permission at the instance of the petitioner and that he alongwith the members of unruly crowd forcefully broke the barricade line.

Furthermore, the prosecution argued that the mob started pelting stones at the main entry of the police station, damaged the two police gypsies including an ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) and a total of 10 police officials were injured (including lacerated head injury and orthopaedic injury).

The Court thus said it has to be alive to both ends of the spectrum, i.e. the need to ensure the proper enforcement of criminal law on the one hand and the need of ensuring that the law does not become a ruse for targeted harassment.

"In the instant case, the act of the applicant is not singular. Firstly, he in disobedience of the directions issued by the police department proceeded to organised march. Secondly, despite first warning given to him by the police to stop at a particular point, he continued to proceed with the mob. Thirdly, when mob had become unruly, he continued to instigate the same. On account of applicant's irresponsible conduct, police personnel have sustained serious injuries," the Court noted.

The Court was of the view that the recoveries from the petitioner were yet to be made and role of other conspirators was yet to be examined.

"The custodial interrogation of the present applicant is insisted by the Investigating Officer. Under the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, this Court does not find it appropriate at this stage to enlarge the applicant on anticipatory bail," the Court said.

The plea was accordingly dismissed.

Case Title: SANTOSH KUMAR JHA v. GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI THROUGH THE STANDING COUNSEL

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 761

Click Here To Read Order


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