NEARLY TWO months after four constables of Mumbai Police were arrested for allegedly assaulting a 22-year old man and causing his death during the lockdown, a sessions court granted them bail on Tuesday.
The four constables posted at Juhu police station at the time of the incident, in March, were arrested on September 9 by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on charges of murdering Raju Velu. Last month, a chargesheet filed by the SIT had, however, dropped charges of murder against the men.
The chargesheet included charges of Indian Penal Code section 304 (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder), which attracts a maximum punishment of ten years, with the SIT claiming that no evidence of an intention to murder Velu was found during the probe.
The four policemen – Santosh Desai, Digambar Chavan, Ananda Gaikwad and Ankush Palve – through their lawyer submitted that since they were public servants, there was no apprehension that they will abscond if granted bail. The prosecution opposed the bail plea stating that Velu had sustained injuries and CCTV footage showed the presence of the four accused at the alleged spot of incident.
According to the prosecution, the four constables were on patrolling duty on March 29 when they noticed Velu roaming around, allegedly flouting lockdown norms. It was alleged that Velu was assaulted for the violation, subsequently leading to his death.
Velu’s family said that the four cops brought Velu to his house and claimed that he
was found lying drunk on a nearby footpath. Velu’s mother, Saira, had said that she was told that her son had been a victim of mob lynching after he was caught committing a theft. Velu was later taken to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
The four accused policemen submitted before the court the death was due to the mob assault on Velu. They claimed that the injuries observed in in his post mortem did not show that they were caused by the policemen’s fibre batons.
They also claimed that CCTV footage had showed their presence as they were on patrolling duty, but there was no evidence to indicate that they had assaulted Velu.
Dindoshi Sessions Judge SS Oza granted the accused bail with conditions including that they will not directly or indirectly make any inducements, threats or promises to the witnesses in the case. The four were granted bail on a provisional cash surety of Rs 25,000 each with directions to attend every trial date without fai
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines