The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a 27-year-old Architect who was arrested after charging at a police officer who reminded him to wear a mask while he was taking a stroll at Marine Drive during the lockdown.
Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing the bail application filed by Karan Nair who was strolling on Marine Drive footpath without a mask on May 8 and has been in jail since then. Court concluded that due to the current scenario prevailing as a result of the pandemic of Covid-19, jails are overburdened and the applicant is a first time offender, hence is entitled to be released on bail.
Police inspector Jitendra Pandurang Kadam was posted on duty at Marine Drive on the fateful day. He spotted this young man (Nair) strolling on the road. He asked him to stop and reminded him that he was not wearing a mask. This young man who may have been disturbed on account of some of the personal issues, suddenly attempted to charge. The justification offered by the applicant was that being an Architect, he was carrying some sort of instrument with him which was used by him as a weapon though it is not exactly a deadly weapon. He continued to run and was chased by the complainant Kadam. He was apprehended by Kadam and taken into custody and has been behind bars since May 8, 2020.
Advocate Niranjan Mundargi appeared on behalf of the applicant and APP AR Kapadnis for the State.
Court noted that the applicant does not have any criminal antecedents-
"It is not the case of the prosecution that the applicant is having any criminal antecedents and the perusal of the FIR would clearly reveal that even the complainant was under tremendous pressure on maintaining the law and order in view of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city and the applicant being apprehensive that he would be arrested by the police officer and probably irked by the fact that the police officer was chasing him only for not wearing the mask, was the cause of the unfortunate incident."
Moreover, Justice Dangre observed-
"The situation of the spread of pandemic has brought on an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation and a young person like the applicant has fallen trap into the scenario.
In absence of any criminal antecedents and the fact that he is a young person aged 27 years and belonging to a reputed family and fleeing the Court of justice being obscure, he is entitled to be released on bail. Another reason for his release being the jail facilities are otherwise over burdened and merely for a person who is a one time confronter of law cannot be incarcerated and particularly in the peculiar situation prevailing inside the jail."
Thus, Court concluded that the applicant is entitled to be released on bail and so directed his release on furnishing a personal bond of Rs.50,000 with one or two sureties. However, at present, he is temporarily released on furnishing the cash bail with the jail authorities.
Click Here To Download Order