Four policemen found guilty of contempt of court for publicly flogging some minority community members in Kheda district on Wednesday requested the Gujarat High Court that they be directed to pay compensation rather than being given punishment, which they argued would affect their careers.
A division bench of Justices A S Supehia and Gita Gopi posted the matter for hearing next Monday in order to have the responses of the complainants on the policemen’s proposal.
During the last hearing, the court had framed charges against the four policemen after finding them guilty under the Contempt of Courts Act for violating the Supreme Court’s guidelines issued in the case of D K Basu vs State of West Bengal regarding compliance with proper procedure before arresting any individual.
The court said they actively participated and carried out flogging of the applicants in public by tying them to a pole.
Appearing on behalf of the then inspector of Kheda police station A V Parmar, sub inspector D B Kumavar, and constables Kanaksinh Dabhi and Raju Dabhi – the four policemen charged with contempt of court – senior advocate Prakash Jani submitted that they have completed substantial years of service and the charges will affect their career.
“Instead of punishing them under the Contempt of Courts Act, appropriate compensation which the court deems fit may be awarded to the five applicants (from the policemen),” he submitted.
Senior advocate I H Syed, appearing for the complainants, said that he would take appropriate instructions from the complainants in this regard, after which the court posted the matter for hearing on Monday.
During the Navratri festival in October last year, a mob comprising members of the Muslim community allegedly hurled stones at a garba dance event at Undhela village in Kheda, injuring some villagers and police personnel.
Videos emerged on social media showing police personnel purportedly flogging three of the 13 persons arrested for pelting stones. Some of the accused later approached the HC, claiming the police personnel involved in the act had committed contempt of court by flouting the Supreme Court’s directions.
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