Mumbai: The Bombay high court recently rejected the anticipatory bail plea of an advocate who is facing arrest for allegedly inciting a mob to attack the police and riot in Cheeta Camp area. The rioting erupted after arrest of a man who allegedly posted morphed picture of Mecca on social media hurting religious sentiments of Muslims.
Advocate M. Hussain Jabali, who is also president of Kurla Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s advocate’s bar association, in his pre-arrest bail plea had contended that even perusal of the first information report (FIR) would reveal that he did not instigate the mob. He argued that since beginning the crowd was demanding the custody of a teenager who was arrested by the Trombay police for allegedly posting a morphed photograph of Mecca on social media.
Advocate Abad Ponda along with advocate Mateen Shaikh argued before the court that crime of rioting, attacking police station and damaging public property by mob was registered at around 12.45 am on March 19, when the applicant was neither present in the police station nor he was part of the mob and hence there is no question of him instigating the mob.
After hearing the arguments, Justice A.S. Gadkari observed that though the name of the applicant as an instigator is not mentioned in the FIR, the statements of two witnesses recorded immediately on March 20, clearly mention that when the mob had gathered at Dindayal Ground, the applicant along with other named accused persons was present there. Justice Gadkari observed that when the mob was demanding that the accused be handed over to its custody and shouting slogans like the “court will release him; we will kill him,” the applicant allegedly instigated the mob. The applicant allegedly said, “I am an advocate of court; I know everything; court will release the said accused tomorrow and therefore, we must take him in our custody.”
Justice Gadkari said the applicant being a practicing advocate, had had a duty to pacify the mob. by advising them that the criminal law has already (been) set into motion, the law will take its own course and for which the custody of the accused need not be demanded in illegal and unlawful manner,” said Justice Gadkari and rejected the pre-arrest bail application.
A teenage contractual sweeper with the Navi Mumbai civic body, a Trombay resident, had allegedly posted a controversial image on a social media website. This hurt the sentiments of Muslims and soon local people started to search for him but could not find him. Meanwhile, the police came to know about the ruckus near Cheeta Camp so it requested people to lodge an FIR and then arrested the teenager on March 20.
However, a mob gathered at Dindayal ground and started demanding that accused be handed over to them. Soon the crowed attacked the police station, hurled glass bottles and paver blocks and also set on fire a police van. Around 15 policemen got injured in the rioting and the police had to resort to firing plastic bullets. Later, 17 persons including local AIMIM municipal corporator Shahnawaz Shaikh, were arrested in connection with the incident.
A teenage contractual sweeper with the Navi Mumbai civic body — a Trombay resident — had allegedly posted a controversial image on a social media website. This hurt the sentiments of Muslims in the locality. The police arrested the accused on March 20. However, a mob attacked the police station, following which around 15 policemen got injured in the rioting. and the police had to resort to firing plastic bullets. Later, 17 persons including local AIMIM municipal corporator Shahnawaz Shaikh, were arrested in connection with the incident.