Mohammed Ansari alias Badshah, 28, has more than 28 cases registered against him. He got bail for each of the cases. He was arrested just nine days before he raped a Spanish woman, for robbing from actor Dino Morea’s Bandra residence.
Multiple murder accused Vijay Palande was out on bail when he allegedly murdered businessman Arunkumar Tikku and aspiring producer Karan Kakkad. In fact, Palande was granted bail in 2007 in a passport forgery case as the police did not inform court that he had jumped parole in connection with the sentence he was serving for the murder of Swaraj Ranjan Das and his father.
On May 30, 2012, six persons stabbed two brothers to death at their Saki Naka residence. Three of the accused had got bail barely a few hours before the murder, despite the accused threatening the victims while being arrested. The accused allegedly murdered the brothers to avenge an earlier fight.
Cases such as these raise serious concerns about the commitment of the police when it comes to sticking to required legal procedures while dealing with repeated, dangerous offenders.
Had the police pushed harder and had Ansari been denied bail, he would not have been roaming through the streets of Bandra, an area that he was known to target. Nor would he have been able to rape a hapless 27-year-old sleeping in her house.
Former city police commissioner Dr PS Pasricha said it’s not right to blame the police or the courts in isolation. Such cases prove that the entire system needs to take more practical steps. “Most courts believe in bail, not jail. They melt before emotional appeals. When it comes to the police, they have several options such as starting chapter proceedings against repeated offenders and externing them from an area.” According to him, the need is for “the entire machinery to make out the difference between a one-time offender and a hardened criminal”.
Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam pointed out that the nature of crimes also matters. “In cases where an accused is known to have a record of charges such as rape, he should be dealt with more severely as against cases of theft,” he said.
However, a past record can’t be the only ground for denying a person bail. “The court has to consider whether the person being out on bail will hamper the probe,” Nikam said.