Simply Because Police Officer Is In Uniform, Section 353 IPC Will Not Be Attracted: Kerala HC While Granting Anticipatory Bail To Lawyers
The Kerala High Court has granted anticipatory bail to lawyers accused of assaulting a police officer allegedly to deter him from discharging his duty.
The Single Bench of Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan noted that the police officer was attending an enquiry based on a complaint filed by a lawyer.
"At no stretch of imagination, it can be said that the defacto complainant was in lawful discharge of his duty as a public servant, at the time of the alleged incident. Simply because he is in uniform, Section 353 IPC will not attract," the Court held while granting bail.
The case of the prosecution was that the de facto complainant who is a Police Officer, had come to the High Court in connection with an enquiry being conducted against him about an incident on the basis of a complaint filed by one of the accused lawyers in this case regarding a traffic incident in which that accused was taken into custody by the Police. Lawyers alleged that the Police ill-treated that lawyer without any reason.
It was further alleged that after the enquiry, on his way out of the High Court premises, the lawyers including the petitioners formed an unlawful assembly, committed riot armed with deadly weapons and assaulted and deterred the police officer from performing his duty as a public servant.
Advocate Babu S. Nair appearing for the petitioners submitted that the only non-bailable offence alleged against the petitioners was under Section 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He further submitted that Section 353 IPC was included with a malafide intention to implicate the lawyers in a non-bailable offence.
The Court observed that one of the main ingredients to attract the Section 353 IPC was the use of assault or criminal force to deter the public servant who was discharging his official duty.
The Court noted that the Police Officer, who was in uniform, was attending an enquiry based on a complaint filed by a lawyer.
The Court also noted that the de facto complainant was not under the lawful discharge of his duty as a public servant, at the time of the alleged incident. The Court held that simply because he was in uniform, Section 353 will not attract.
"I think there is some force in the argument of the petitioners that Section 353 IPC is added just to implicate lawyers in non-bailable offence. The superior officers should look into this matter and take appropriate action in accordance to law", the court held while allowing the bail application.