Jignesh Mevani gets bail, court prefers Assam police over ‘wrong FIR’

A court in Assam’s Barpeta district, which released Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on bail in a case related to the alleged “assault” of a female police officer, on Friday summoned state police for posting a “false FIR”.

Hearing the bail application, Barpeta and Sessions District Judge Aparesh Chakraborty asked the Gauhati High Court to order state police to “reform themselves”, citing the numerous police encounters over the last year.

Mevani was granted bail of Rs 1,000 on bail in the case lodged with Barpeta Road Police Station.

He was arrested in this case on Monday for allegedly “assaulting” the policewoman while being taken from Guwahati to Kokrajhar by a police squad.

The court found that while in her custody, the intention to outrage the policewoman’s modesty in the presence of two other police officers could not be attributed to the defendant, which no one else had seen.

The judge noted that the High Court could consider ordering Assam Police to self-reform to “prevent false FIR being registered as in the present case and police personnel firing and killing or injuring suspects, which in the state has become a routine phenomenon”.

The Supreme Court could also consider ordering every individual law and order police officer to wear a “body camera,” install surveillance cameras in vehicles while detaining a suspect, or a suspect for recovering goods, or for other reasons to one location and also install CCTV cameras in all police stations,” the order said.

“Otherwise our state will become a police state that society can hardly afford,” she added.

The court also ordered the order to be referred to the Registrar General of the High Court to bring before the Chief Justice to consider that aspect and see if the matter could be taken up as a public interest litigation (PIL) order “the ongoing police excesses in the state”.

Mevani, a congressional-backed independent MLA, was picked up from Gujarat by a group of Assam police last week and arrested over an alleged tweet in which he claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi “regards Godse as a god”.

After being released on bail on Monday in that case, he was arrested again in the case in connection with the attack on the policewoman who was part of the police squad that accompanied him to Korkrajhar, about whom a complaint was made in Barpeta .

Mevani’s lawyer, Angshuman Bora, told PTI that he would first be taken to Kokrajhar as certain formalities remained to be completed after the local court approved his bail.

“He was arrested again immediately after being released on bail and taken to Barpeta. The formalities in Kokrajhar still need to be completed,” he said.

Mevani will probably be taken to Guwahati after completing these formalities.

In the Barpeta case, he was charged under IPC Sections 294 (Using obscene words in public), 323 (Voluntarily causing injury), 353 (Assaulting an official in the line of duty) and 354 (Using criminal violence against a woman who intends to do so) accused outrage at their modesty).

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/politics/story/jignesh-mevani-gets-bail-court-pulls-up-assam-police-for-false-fir-331870-2022-04-29?utm_source=rssfeed Jignesh Mevani gets bail, court prefers Assam police over ‘wrong FIR’

Jaclyn Diaz

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