HC relief for victim of savage attack by cabbie
Accused assaulted antique dealer over suspicion of affair with wife; court orders inquiry against erring officers after cops failed to file attempt to murder case despite severity of wounds
Pydhonie police is feeling Bombay High Court’s wrath for allegedly covering up a case of attempted murder, though the injuries sustained by the victim clearly indicated murderous intent behind the attack. The case is related to an incident that took place around 2.30 am on July 18, when antique dealer Sajidali Khan (32) was attacked by knife-wielding taxi driver Imran Khan (34), who suspected the former of having an affair with his wife. The victim sustained deep cuts to his neck, head, chest and hand.
Police registered an FIR for offences under Section 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code. The victim made several rounds of the station and urged officials to make it a case of attempted murder considering the ferocity of the attack.
Realising his attacker was getting away with a charge unbefitting of his crime, Khan wrote letters to the area deputy commissioner of police (DCP) and commissioner of police, but claims his pleas were ignored. It was only then that he approached the High Court.
Coming down hard on Pydhonie police for trying to suppress the case, the HC on Monday ordered the DCP to conduct an inquiry against the erring officers. Speaking to MiD DAY, Sajidali said, “I feel lucky to be alive. The doctors told me that had the cut on my throat been any deeper, I would have died instantly.”
A division bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and RY Ganoo in their order noted that there was ‘no doubt’ that the injuries constituted an offence of attempted murder.
They added, “In spite of this, it is intriguing that the FIR was registered only for offences under Section 326 of Indian Penal Code. Perhaps, that was done to favour the accused, who would in turn, easily get bail. If the petitioner had not rushed to this court, it is alleged that the concerned police officer would not have proceeded to even arrest the accused.”
What went down
Sajidali’s lawyer Satyaram Gaud said, “He suspected my client of having an affair with his wife, so he called him to his building on some pretext. When he reached there, he was allegedly attacked viciously with a knife.”
After recovering from his injuries at JJ Hospital, the victim approached the police asking what action had been taken and was shocked to learn that only a minor case had been registered against Imran.
Armed with evidence of the seriousness of his wounds and his medical records, Sajidali urged the officials to book Imran for attempted murder. However, investigating officer, RR Katwani refused to level Section 307 (attempted murder) against Sajidali’s attacker.
Besides asking the DCP to initiate an inquiry and submit his report by September 27, the court handed over further investigations to Crime Branch, and ordered the 326 charge be modified to 307.
Sajidali said, “Since the initial offence registered was 326, Imran was released on bail a few days ago by the Mazgaon court. On Thursday, I approached the police with a copy of the court order directing them to take action. However they are yet to receive an official copy from the court and their hands are tied until they do.”
Meanwhile, Sajidali has sent the DCP a letter yesterday complaining that Imran Solanki, Imran Khan’s brother-in-law, threatened him with dire consequences outside the Mazgaon court on August 30.