Molana Ramzan Ali Abdul Jalil Shekh v. State of Gujarat
In the High Court of Gujarat
Cr. Misc. App. 13570/2014 along with 13113, 13198, 13213, 13332, 13335, and 13525/2014
Before Justice A. J. Desai
Decided on September 01, 2014
Relevancy of the case: Regular bail in a case involving stone-pelting by a mob and destruction of public property due to a social media post
Statutes & Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66A)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 120B, 143, 147-149, 186, 307, 332, 333, 337, 341, 353, 435)
- The Gujarat Police Act, 1951 (Section 135)
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 439)
- The Damages to the Public Property Act, 1984 (Section 3, 7)
Relevant Facts of the Case
- The complainant filed an FIR for offences under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- The complainant alleged that a message in filthy language was circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook. This message has hurt the feelings of the Muslim community. After the investigation, the police arrested the accused and brought him to the “B” Division Police Station, Bhuj city. As the Muslim community came to know about the arrest, they gathered near the police station.
- To disperse the mob of around 2000 persons, the police opened tear gas followed by lathi charge. At the same time, the mob pelted stones on the police, and certain police personnel sustained injuries. As the mob became violent, the police were compelled to open fire. After this, the mob dispersed, and certain persons were arrested.
- Pursuant to this, a Sub-inspector lodged an FIR at Police Station for “A” Division, Bhuj city. The applicants, who are accused in the applications mentioned above, were arrested by police within three days of the registration of offence. The Additional Sessions Judge denied their applications for release on regular bail.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
Counsels for the petitioners:
- Learned advocates have submitted that none of the accused had any dangerous weapon in their hands. They were arrested at different locations, and the police personnel have not sustained any severe injuries.
Counsels for the respondent:
- The police personnel were doing their legal duty. The mob demanded the police to hand over the accused which they denied. This is precisely when the mob started pelting stones and set ablaze a government vehicle.
Opinion of the Bench
- The medical certificates do not highlight any serious injuries sustained by police personnel.
- After this incident, no untoward incident has taken place in Bhuj city.
- Considering the nature of allegations and the case background, the case appears to be a fit case for enlarging applications on bail.
- The bail is granted to the applicants. Specific bail conditions are prescribed for different applicants.