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The Bombay High Court granted bail to persons accused of attacking a police COVID-19 duty patrol team on a condition that they deposit Rs. 5,000/- each to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund within six weeks to be used by the state government towards COVID-19 relief (Gaus Mohammed Shaikh & Ors. v State of Maharashtra).
This apart, bail was granted subject to furnishing a Rs 10,000 PR bond and sureities of like value.
Justice Bharati Dangre added that the accused were entitled for temporary release on submitting cash bail of Rs.10,000 each with the Jail Superintendent and that they could furnish sureties within a period of six weeks from their release.
The four applicants were accused of having assaulted a team of Police officers engaged in road march to monitor the compliance of restrictions imposed in the wake of COVID-19. On April 26, a mob of 25 to 30 persons were accused of having attacked the police team when the police insisted on removal of the hawkers squatted on the footpaths
The mob was accused of having pelted stones and bricks on the police and police vehicles, which resulted in the destruction of one of the police vans as well.
The applicants submitted before the Court that they have been arrested only because they fall in the age group of the accused persons and because they are residents of the said locality where the incident occurred.
In view of these submissions, the Court opined that the applicants were entitled to the benefit of doubt since they were arrested merely on the basis of an age description, without the conduction of an identification parade or any concrete evidence being collected by the Investigating Agency.
While the Court took note of the State's assertion that the accused must bear the consequences of having allegedly assaulting the police team, it expressed its inclination to release the applicants on temporary jail given that they had been under arrest since April 26.
Bombay High Court
The Court, therefore, granted bail to the applicants, while also imposing the following conditions
The applicants cannot leave the city without prior permission of the Court and shall report to the police station as and when called.
They shall keep the Shanti Nagar Police Station informed about any change in their address and also supply their mobile number to the said police station.
They shall not tamper with the prosecution witnesses.