The Bombay High Court has said the coronavirus lockdown had created an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation while granting bail to a 27-year-old architect who was arrested for allegedly attacking three policemen with sickle when they questioned him for roaming on a road at night during curfew and not wearing a mask.
A single judge bench of Justice Bharati Dangre issued the order on Tuesday while hearing the bail application filed by Karan Nair, an architect, through advocates Niranjan Mundargi and Keral Mehta.
The court noted that on May 8, Nair was strolling on Marine Drive footpath when prohibitory orders in wake of the pandemic were in force. Jitendra Kadam, a police inspector, spotted Nair and tried to question him as to why he was outside during the lockdown and without a mask.
However, Nair charged at the policeman and tried to run away. He was chased by police and arrested. “This young man, who may have been disturbed on account of some of the personal issues, suddenly attempted to charge,” the court said.
Nair’s advocate Niranjan Mundargi, however, refuted the police version that the accused was carrying a chopper. Mundargi said Nair was carrying a tool used by architects.
After hearing the submissions, the court noted that the applicant did not have any criminal antecedents.
“The police were under tremendous pressure to maintain law and order in view of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city, and the applicant (Nair) was apprehensive that he would be arrested and hence, tried to flee,” the court said.
“The pandemic situation has brought on an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation and a young person like the
applicant has fallen trap,” Justice Dangre said.
Directing that Nair be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 with sureties, the court said, “In the absence of any criminal antecedents and the fact that the accused is a young person belonging to a reputed family, escaping the court of justice is obscure, he is entitled to be released on bail.”
The Court directed the applicant to report to the police station as and when he is called for the probe.
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