The Bombay high court, in a recent order, denied bail to a Mumbai resident booked on charges of assault, observing that the man had also assaulted a police officer who was on patrol duty and had tried to intervene in the incident. The court held that “preventing a public servant from performing his lawful duty was a heinous crime in itself and deserved no leniency.”
Justice AS Gadkari was hearing a bail plea filed by one Faiyaz Shaikh, a resident of Wadala. Shaikh was arrested in November 2016 while he was engaged in a violent tussle on the streets with three other persons.
Sandip Govind Mane, the police sub-inspector then attached to Wadala T. T. Police Station, was on patrol duty at the time. When he was informed of the said fight, he rushed to the spot with his staff and found Shaikh brandishing a sword, trying to attack another person.
When Mane intervened, Shaikh began assaulting him and his staff. When several passers by intervened, Shaikh fled from the scene.
He was arrested two days later, charged under the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, and a charge sheet was filed against him.
He approached the HC for bail earlier this month, arguing that the charge sheet had already been filed against him and thus, there was no possibility of him tampering with the probe or the evidence.
Shaikh also cited several Apex court orders granting bail in similar circumstances.
Justice Gadkari, however, observed that the other cases did not include any assault on a police officer.
He said that the charge sheet revealed that Shaikh had tried to attack sub-inspector Mane and another police constable with a sword while the officers were trying to discharge their lawful duty.
“The charge sheet reveals that the applicant (Shaikh) questioned the authority of the police officer and assaulted him with iron rod and sword. It appears that he has scant respect towards the law enforcing agency. The applicant has dared to assault a police officer who was performing his lawful duty, injuring him in the process. This is a factor distinguishing this case from the others cited by the applicant,” Justice Gadkari said.
“Any attempts to obstruct a public servant in the discharge of his duty, his endeavours to disperse an unlawful assembly etc. is a serious offence and the applicant does not deserve bail,” he said.