February 13, 2021 8:05:47 pm
Two women booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were granted anticipatory bail by an Ahmedabad court on February 10 after it found “there is dispute as to the commission of offence under the Act”.
Mumtajbanu Shaikh (50) and Gulshanbanu Diwan (27) had submitted before the court they were named as co-accused “falsely” on account of being relatives of Rabiyakhan Irfankhan Pathan, who has been booked as a co-accused in a case under Disturbed Areas Act.
The complainant in the case had submitted two tenants, including Pathan, in a locality designated as a disturbed area were creating nuisance by not parking their vehicles in proper manner. The family members of the main accused — the other tenant — “abused, assaulted and attacked the complainant and his family members” with the help of “other eight to 10 members of the Muslim community”, the complaint stated.
The complainant alleged that Shaikh and Diwan were “armed with wooden sticks” at the time of the incident, and had “instigated the other accused to assault the complainant”. After the incident, the two women also “gave shelter to the co-accused (Pathan)”, the complainant said.
Shaikh and Diwan, the complainant further said, were aware of the latter’s “caste status” and hence charged under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
In their pleas before the court, Shaikh and Diwan stated they had not been named as accused in the complaint (under Disturbed Areas Act) and their names were only revealed during the course of investigation by the complainant “solely with a view to harass” the duo and their family members.
The court noted the area designated as a disturbed area had seen objections being taken by “the members of Hindu community over renting of property to the members of Muslim community as well as the issue of inappropriate parking by the tenants”. However, it said, there was no mention of names of the persons involved in the assault and no specifications with regards to their appearance in the complaint. “Besides, there is no mention of any unnamed females present at the site with wooden stick in their hand,” the court noted.
Deeming it to be a fit case for exercising discretion, the court of additional sessions judge Mustaq Ahmed Bhatti, granted anticipatory bail to the two women.
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