May 22, 2009 2:49:31 am
The Bombay High Court on Thursday observed that they will have to examine whether the mob posed a threat to convicted police officer Manohar Kadam,his platoon,or the public during the July 1997 communal tension after the desecration of an Ambedkar statue at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar. The court will decide on his bail plea on Friday.
The vacation bench of Justice A V Nirgude and Justice Rajesh Ketkar has now reserved the order on the bail application moved by Kadam following his conviction earlier this month.
Can you say that there was no danger to him or other police officers or the public? Justice Nirgude asked the state government. Implication of this is far reaching and has to be considered, Justice Nirgude added.
Meanwhile,Additional Public Prosecutor Usha Kejriwal reiterated the state governments stand that Kadam did not follow rules and he did not even stop the firing after seeing injured people.
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He again ordered firing when he should have stopped, Kejriwal submitted. Kejriwal further submitted that Kadam did not have tear gas or megaphone to disperse the crowd. To this,Kadams counsel Raja Thakare added that it is a systemic lapse to which Kadam has fallen victim.
Thakare further argued that Kadam has not taken crime as a livelihood and certain evidence which was in his favour were discarded during the trial.
He has two daughters,a son and 90-year-old father,Thakare told the court.
The issue of sanction for prosecution was also argued and the court said that it would look into it during the stage of appeal.
Meanwhile,lawyer for the victims Sangharaj Rupawate,pointed out that sanction under Section 197 of CrPC and Section 20 of SRPF Act was sufficient for the prosecution of Kadam. Thakare on Wednesday argued that the required sanction under CrPC and the Bombay Police Act was not taken for prosecuting Kadam.
Thakare had submitted that if there is apprehension of threat to life or damage to property,the police can use force even if it risks causing death. Meanwhile an affidavit filed by the state government yesterday had stated that Kadam has not taken proper care before opening fire.
The affidavit stated that Kadam did not follow rules pertaining to use of Armed Police during disturbances and measures to be taken during communal riots. Kadam was convicted by a sessions court for ordering firing upon a Dalit mob in Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar.
Kadam,who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by sessions court earlier this month,has filed appeal as well as bail application in the HC. Following conviction Kadam was hospitalised after he complained of chest pains. According to his lawyer hes out of the hospital and back in prison now.
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