The Punjab and Haryana High Court while granting anticipatory bail to a man arrested for assaulting a policeman during lockdown, has directed him to plant ten trees and to look after them for two years. As per the FIR, accused Dharminder was booked on the complaint of Head Constable Lakhwinder Singh, who was deputed at Police Station Sarangpur, Chandigarh, who was on lockdown duty at the time of the incident.
The officer and another constable were patrolling and saw a gathering of people near Jallander dairy. The complainant alleged that three persons, identified as Bala, Birju and Dharminder, were instigating the people to pelt stones on the policemen as they were stopping them from stepping outside. The crowd started pelting stones, thus hurting the officers. Dharminder was thus booked under sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), and 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the IPC at PS Sarangpur, Chandigarh.
The petitioner’s (Dharminder) counsel submitted before the court that he has joined the investigation, and further is a poor person earning his livelihood by doing labour work. The counsel added that Dharminder neither instigated the crowd nor caused any hindrance to the police personnel in discharge of their official duty. In fact, the petitioner was preparing a video of the incident which the police did not like and for this reason, he has been falsely implicated in the present case.
However, the UT Public Prosecutor argued that the petitioner instigated the crowd to attack the police, which resulted in them getting injured. The counsel added that that, however, custodial interrogation of the petitioner is no more required at this stage.
The bench of Justice Hari Pal Verma, while granting anticipatory bail to the accused, held that the petitioner will continue to join investigation as and when required to do so and will abide by the terms and conditions, but considering the nature of allegations against the petitioner when the police is fighting against Covid-19, it is directed that the petitioner will approach SHO Police Station Sarangpur within a week with an undertaking that he will offer his services to plant ten trees and further to maintain/look after these trees for a period of two years.
“Accordingly, SHO Police Station Sarangpur is directed to provide the plants and place to the petitioner within one month from today, enabling the petitioner to plant such trees. The petitioner shall plant ten trees and shall look after those trees for a period of two years. In case he fails to maintain those trees during the aforesaid period, the SHO will be at liberty to move an appropriate application before this Court for further action”, ruled the HC.
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