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Bombay HC grants interim relief to media student booked for assaulting police official in 2018

The court also granted an interim relief to the 25-year-old and directed the magistrate court to commit the case to sessions judge while asking the latter not to frame charges against the applicant until further orders.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: April 12, 2022 7:06:32 am
On April 5, a division bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Shriram M Modak passed an order in a criminal application by the man seeking to quash the FIR registered by an official of Malvani police station in 2018, the chargesheet for which was filed in April 2019. (File)

The Bombay High Court recently directed the Mumbai Police to respond to a plea by a student seeking to quash an FIR registered against him for allegedly assaulting a police official near Marve beach in September 2018. The applicant, a media student planning to pursue further studies in a foreign country, had visited the beach during Ganpati visarjan to photograph the ritual.

The court also granted an interim relief to the 25-year-old and directed the magistrate court to commit the case to sessions judge while asking the latter not to frame charges against the applicant until further orders.

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On April 5, a division bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Shriram M Modak passed an order in a criminal application by the man seeking to quash the FIR registered by an official of Malvani police station in 2018, the chargesheet for which was filed in April 2019.

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During an earlier hearing, Justice Varale had orally remarked: “If you (applicant) are going to pursue a course in media management, first thing you should learn (is) how to have good rapport with police officers. It is part of management. You cannot afford to quarrel with police officers.”

As per prosecution, on the evening of September 14, 2018, the police official was on duty for Ganpati Visarjan at Marve beach when post-midnight, three to four persons were seen trying to enter the sea for immersion of Ganesh idols. However, the police officials warned them against the same. Thereafter, it is alleged, the applicant assaulted the complainant police official, created nuisance and obstructed complainant and other police officials from discharging their duty. The sessions court in the same month granted bail to the petitioner.

Advocates Abhijeet A Desai and Surbhi Agrawal, representing the petitioner, submitted that the contents of the FIR fall too short to attract offences punishable under section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC.

The lawyers said that continuity of proceedings against the applicant would be “nothing but abuse of process of law” as the applicant has a “backdrop of an excellent academic career”. Recently, he was also selected for further studies in a foreign country and as per the selection letter, he will have to attend the course in July or August. Therefore, he should be granted interim relief on an urgent basis, the petitioner’s lawyers argued.

Desai said that the applicant apprehended the charges to be framed against him as chargesheet has already been filed and therefore, the entire attempt of approaching HC to avail grievance redressal would become futile.

The bench then issued notices to respondents seeking their response to the plea during next hearing on April 19 and granted interim relief by protecting the accused from charges being framed against him.

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