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Bombay HC grants bail to architect arrested for attacking cop who asked him to wear a mask

The HC, while granting bail, said the lockdown has brought in ‘weariness and exasperation’, and the 27-year-old architect ‘has fallen trap into the scenario’.

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New Delhi: The Bombay High Court has granted bail to a 27-year-old architect, who was arrested for attacking a police inspector after the latter asked him to wear a mask when he was taking a stroll at Marine Drive during the Covid lockdown.

Justice Bharati Dangre observed the Covid-19 lockdown has “brought on an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation”, and said the applicant “has fallen trap into the scenario”.

The applicant, Karan Nair, was strolling at Marine Drive on 8 May when he was stopped by inspector Jitendra Pandurang Kadam.

According to the court order that came Tuesday, Kadam reminded Nair that he wasn’t wearing a mask. 

“This young man who may have been disturbed on account of some of the personal issues, suddenly attempted to charge,” the court noted.

Nair submitted he was carrying an instrument used by him as an architect with which he attacked the inspector and then tried to flee. He was arrested after a chase and taken into custody. He has been in jail since then.

The court, however, highlighted the tense atmosphere in the country due to the lockdown and the pressure over the police officers for maintaining law and order. 

“It is not the case of the prosecution that the applicant is having any criminal antecedents and the perusal of the FIR would clearly reveal that even the complainant was under tremendous pressure on maintaining the law and order in view of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city and the applicant being apprehensive that he would be arrested by the police officer and probably irked by the fact that the police officer was chasing him only for not wearing the mask, was the cause of the unfortunate incident,” it observed. 

Also read: Bombay HC asks Centre to reconsider fixing price cap for N95 masks, ensure affordability

No criminal antecedents

Justice Dangre pointed out Nair did not have any criminal antecedents, and observed that he is entitled to be released on bail.

“In absence of any criminal antecedents and the fact that he is a young person aged 27 years and belonging to a reputed family and fleeing the Court of justice being obscure, he is entitled to be released on bail,” the court observed. 

“Another reason for his release being the jail facilities are otherwise over-burdened and merely for a person who is a one-time confronter of law cannot be incarcerated and particularly in the peculiar situation prevailing inside the jail,” it added. 

Nair was released on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one or two sureties. It clarified that he may be temporarily released on furnishing the cash before the jail authorities.

Also read: Bombay HC quotes Oscar Wilde to rule Covid patients have ‘right to decent burial too’


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