Mumbai: How 'minor' escaped major punishment by 4 hours

Jul 22, 2015, 15:06 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

The minor, who allegedly led an assault on a BEST driver near Mumbai Central on Sunday evening along with three others, turned 18 only on Monday, a mere four hours after the incident

On Sunday at 8.10 pm, four people allegedly assaulted a BEST bus driver near Mumbai Central. Two of these accused are still at large, but one of the assaulters who was nabbed, had to be eventually let off by the cops because he was a minor at the time of the incident just by four hours.

The minor, who allegedly led the assault, turned 18 only on Monday, a mere four hours after the incident, preventing the full force of the law from crashing down on him. The cops had to detain the minor under the Juvenile Justice Act, and he was granted bail.

Road rage
According to the police, the incident took place on Sunday at 8.10 pm. The accused and three other accomplices had picked up an argument with a BEST bus driver near Mumbai Central bus depot.

Cops said that the four accused chased the bus and stopped it. The main minor accused clambered into the bus and allegedly slapped the driver a few times. The group then abused the bus driver and escaped. The incident took place opposite City Center Mall near Mumbai Central.

Later, the BEST bus driver reached Nagpada police station, and filed an FIR against the four. A case was registered under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), of the IPC. The cops are on the lookout for the absconding accused.

Happy birthday, you can go
The minor accused in the case was nabbed on Monday afternoon. He was produced in front of senior cops, but he denied allegations that he had slapped the driver. However, the driver identified the alleged assailant.

But when they enquired about the accused’s age, the cops were flummoxed. The accused replied that Monday was his birthday and he had just turned 18. A Nagpada police officer said, “It was very strange at the very beginning. We were confused whether he should be charged as a minor or in a proper judicial court.

Later by discussing with senior cops we figured that at the time of incident, he was a minor, so he would be charged under the Juvenile Justice Act.” On his birthday, i.e., on Monday, the minor was arrested and granted bail the same day by the Juvenile Justice Court.

BEST speak
A BEST spokesperson said, “The incident took place with the driver of BEST bus number 124, which was going towards Worli. The driver was later admitted to JJ Hospital and released the same day after treatment. The main culprit is the minor who assaulted the driver.”

Cop speak
He got saved just in time. If he had committed the crime four hours later, he would have now been in jail for a long time. A police officer from Nagpada station, who did not wish to be named

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