Observing that the job of a police officer was difficult in the time of pandemic and that the personnel of Mumbai Police, which is considered as one of the best in the world, were overburdened, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed a woman – booked for making alleged offensive remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and minister Aditya Thackeray – to appear before the BKC cyber police station on November 2.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice M S Karnik was hearing Navi Mumbai resident Sunaina Holey’s plea seeking interim protection from arrest, pending hearing of the case, and quashing of all FIRs and charges levelled against her. The court asked her to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
Three FIRs were lodged against Holey by the Mumbai and Palghar police following her alleged remarks on the social media in July. The FIRs were registered after several persons, including Yuva Sena member Rohan Chavan, filed police complaints against her.
On Thursday, state government lawyer J P Yagnik submitted that despite a notice issued to Holey under Section 41-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), she had not appeared before the investigating officer concerned of BKC cyber police station in Mumbai and sought her appearance at earliest.
Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud, representing Holey, submitted that she was facing a health issue and, therefore, could not appear. She was ready to appear before the BKC cyber police station on November 2, he added. The same was accepted by the court.
Referring to the police’s workload, Justice Shinde said, “The job of police officers is difficult during these times. Sometimes they have more than 12-hour shifts. Then they have to do bandobast for morchas and processions. With all these odds, the Mumbai Police is considered as one of the best in the world after Scotland Yard.” Responding in affirmative, Chandrachud said, “Yes, especially during Covid times, it has worked hard.”
Justice Shinde said, “Some amount of cooperation is required from you (people) too.”
While posting further hearing on Holey’s plea to November 23, the HC said that in case of urgency, the petitioner was at liberty to move the appropriate court seeking relief.
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