5 May 2022 3:49 PM GMT
A Court in the Mehsana District of Gujarat today sentenced Gujarat Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani and 9 others to 3 months of imprisonment while holding them guilty of committing offence punishable under Section 143 IPC.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate J.A. Parmar noted that all 10 were members of Mevani's Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch and when they were asked to not go ahead with...
A Court in the Mehsana District of Gujarat today sentenced Gujarat Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani and 9 others to 3 months of imprisonment while holding them guilty of committing offence punishable under Section 143 IPC.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate J.A. Parmar noted that all 10 were members of Mevani's Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch and when they were asked to not go ahead with the processions, they disobeyed the orders of the executive magistrate, and therefore, the said assembly became an unlawful assembly.
"The organiser of the procession, Kaushik Parmar obtained a licence under Section 30 of the Police Act and then it was revoked, hence, though the direction issued by the executive Magistrate and Police not to rally/assembly, and the accused apparently resolved to disobey the orders and in defiance thereof they assemble for the rally. It was held that by doing so, they formed themselves an unlawful assembly within the meaning of Section 141, I.-P.C- and are liable to be punished under Section 143," the Court held
It may be noted that Section 143 of IPC provides that whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.
"...It is proved that accused no. 1 to 7,10 to 12 (more than 5 accused) with a common purpose of disobeying the revocation order of the executive magistrate held meeting/assembly and preparing for a rally at Somnath chowk on 12.07.17, though the permission was not granted, committed offense under section 143 of IPC being a member of unlawful assembly," the Court observed in its order.
However, the Court has stayed its order and has granted Bail to Mevani and others till they file an appeal in the higher court against this judgment.
The background of this case
In July 2017, Mehsana 'A' division police had registered an FIR against Mevani and others for their act of organizing a Freedom March from Mehsana to Dhanera. The purpose of the march was to mark the first anniversary of the Una Dalit flogging incident.
Initially, the district authorities had granted permission to them, however, the same was revoked later on. Now, since they all decided to go ahead with the march and refused to obey the orders of the executive magistrate, an FIR was registered against them.
The Court, in its order, noted that the executive magistrate is best placed to make an assessment of the threat to public peace and or law and order. Hence, the Court added, that if the accused were aggrieved with the revocation order (regarding holding march), they could have applied before the competent authority.
Noting that they did not do so, the Court took into account the fact that the complainant and executive magistrate themselves persuaded the accused not to rally/pad yatra, but they dia assemble, not pay any heed.
"Section 30A(1) of the Police Act provides thus 'any magistrate or District Superintendent of Police or Assistant supdt. of Police or Inspector of Police or any Police officer in charge of a station may stop any procession which violates the conditions of a license and may order it or any assembly which violates any such conditions as aforesaid to disperse'. any procession or assembly which neglects or refuses to obey any order given by police as per section 33(8) will automatically turn into an unlawful assembly," the Court further noted.
The court has also slapped a fine of ₹1,000 on each of the 10 convicts.
Last week, a local Court in Assam had granted bail to Mevani in the case of alleged assault on a policewoman after noting that the instant case was manufactured for the purpose of keeping Mevani in detention for a longer period, abusing the process of the court and the law.
The Assam Court had noted that the Case against Mevani was manufactured for the purpose of keeping Mevani in detention for a longer period, abusing the process of the court and the law.
The Sessions Judge, Barpeta, A. Chakravarty had further Gauhatirequested the Gauhati High Court to consider directing the Assam Police to reform itself by taking some measures like directing each and every police personnel engaged in law and order duty to wear Body Cameras, to install CCTV Cameras in vehicles while arresting an accused or taking an accused to someplace for the discovery of some articles and for such other reasons and also to install CCTV Cameras inside all the police stations.
However, on Monday, the Gauhati High Court had put a stay on some of the observations made by the Assam Court, however, the Court had clarified that the order granting him the benefit of bail has not been interfered with.