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Litigation News

Delhi High Court grants bail to man accused of assaulting two women resident doctors of Safdarjung Hospital for spreading COVID-19

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today granted bail to a man accused of assaulting two women resident doctors of Safdarjung Hospital for spreading COVID-19. (Sanjeev Sharma vs State)

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar.

An FIR was lodged against the Petitioner, Sanjeev Sharma, on April 9 under Sections 354/341/323/506/509 of IPC for allegedly assaulting two women resident doctors of Safdarjung Hospital. The Petitioner had allegedly accused the two doctors of spreading COVID-19 in Gautam Nagar area.

As per the FIR, on the night of April 8, when the two doctors were out to buy fruits at gate No. 4 of Gulmohar Enclave, a person/Petitioner standing at the spot started speaking about social distancing and remarked that the doctors like them were spreading infection in residential areas.

One of the doctors then told that the Petitioner she knew the importance of social distancing and tried to reason out but the Petitioner got abusive and aggressive and threatened that he would get a case registered against them, FIR states.

It is further alleged that when the Complainant Doctor was about to leave the spot, the Petitioner assaulted them and even touched them inappropriately.

The counsel for the Petitioner submitted before the Court that the Petitioner was granted bail by the court of Metropolitan Magistrate on April 9 at about 3 pm but it was cancelled by the Additional Sessiosn judge on the very same day.

Consequent, the Petitioner surrendered and was taken into custody on April 10 and has been in judicial custody since then.

The Petitioner had thus moved the High Court seeking his release as well as direction to quash the FIR.

Seeking his release on bail, the Petitioner's counsel submitted that no useful purpose would be served by keeping him in jail, especially when there was likelihood of Petitioner getting infected with COVID-19 as he was suffering from hypertension and diabetes.

It was also contended that Petitioner had been falsely implicated as he had only protested against the two doctors for not maintaining the social distancing but then they became aggressive and told that they were doctors and knew the meaning of social distancing.

It was added that all the sections invoked against the Petitioner except section 354 IPC were bailable and the allegations of molestation were just an afterthought.

The State opposed the bail application contending that the allegations were grave and serious in nature and the Petitioner rather than being thankful to the doctors attacked and molested them.

It was added that statements under Section 164 CrPC and statement of one eye witness who was the fruit seller and was present at the spot had also been recorded.

After considering the submissions made by the parties, the Court opined that no useful purpose would be served by keeping the Petitioner in judicial custody and overcrowding Tihar Jail.

The country is passing through a very difficult phase and the doctors are rendering yeoman service to the nation. The petitioner being an educated man as stated by the counsel for the petitioner that he is an interior designer by profession should have been respectful to the doctors rather than abusing and threatening them. However, the petitioner in the instant case is in J.C. since 10.04.2020. Admittedly, the petitioner is suffering from diabetes which is evident from the order of the Ld. MM dated 10.04.2020 whereby the petitioner was allowed to carry two medicines as mentioned hereinabove for his medical condition.
Delhi High Court

Therefore, in view of the above, the Petitioner was admitted to bail by the High Court on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 20,000 with one surety of the like amount subject to the satisfaction of the concerned Magistrate.

The Petiotioner was represented by Advocates Tanmaya Mehta, Abhishek Mishra.

State was represented by APP Ashish Dutta.

Read the Order:

Sanjeev Sharma vs State.pdf
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