A 27-year-old woman working with a food delivery start-up, who was jailed last August after a verbal altercation with traffic police personnel in Vashi, continues to remain in jail despite being granted bail.
Priyanka Mogre was booked on August 8, 2019 by the Vashi police after an alleged argument between her and traffic constables over one of them taking a photograph of her two-wheeler while issuing an e-challan.
In two videos that went viral, Mogre had purportedly abused the constables while claiming that as she was standing right next to her vehicle, their act of photographing the violation was wrong.
The police went on to book her under is non-bailable Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code. She was also booked under sections 393 (attempt to commit robbery), 294 (obscene acts or words in public), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
She was subsequently arrested on August 19. A Thane court granted her bail within a month. The court had then observed that Mogre had undergone custodial interrogation and her further detention was unwarranted. It said that she should be granted bail on payment of sureties of Rs 25,000.
While Mogre’s father initiated the process, he was unable to complete it. Stuck in another state amid the lockdown, his subsequent attempts to complete the process also did not work out.
In February, Ramaa Kale, a social worker associated with Prayas – a field action project of Tata Institute of Social Sciences that works in prisons – met Mogre. Initially, since her father was facilitating her release, Kale did not get involved. Subsequently, however, she made efforts to complete the procedure to get Mogre released. An application was filed before the Vashi court to release her on a personal bond instead of the sureties to expedite her release.
During the lockdown, a state-appointed high-powered committee had also directed release of undertrials to decongest jails. The social workers also referred to this while seeking Mogre’s release.
By then, however, the police had filed a chargesheet against Mogre before a court in Vashi. Since the charges against Mogre involved sections to be tried only by a sessions court, the case was to be transferred to the Thane sessions court.
Senior Inspector Sanjeev Dhumal of Vashi police station said that he knew that Mogre was unable to avail bail. “We filed the chargesheet against her last year within 60 days (of her arrest). The last thing I know is that she was unable to pay sureties,” he added.
While the Vashi court last heard the case in January, it did not show up in the records of the Thane court till Tuesday. “When we began the process to complete her bail formalities, her papers were not to be found in either of the two courts. On Tuesday, we received a call from the Thane court about the papers and her bail formalities are likely to be completed soon,” Kale said.
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