On Wednesday, the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Advocate Rajendra Sharma, who was allegedly dragged and assaulted by the Uttar Pradesh Police (Rajendra Sharma v State of UP).
Sharma had been arrested on various charges after the scuffle, during which he is stated to have used a gun. The Court was informed by Sharma that he was defending himself as well as his property because his house was illegally occupied.
A Single-Judge bench of Justice Neeraj Tiwari, granted bail to the accused who was in custody since December, last year.
While granting bail to Sharma reliance was placed on Dataram Singh Vs. State of U.P. and another, and the principles enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
“Considering the material on record as well as the dictum of Apex Court in the case of Dataram Singh Vs. State of U.P. and another, reported in (2018) 3 SCC 22, larger mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, without expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, let the applicant- Rajendra Sharma, be enlarged on bail on his executing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned”, the Court said.
Rajendra Sharma submitted that he was being falsely implicated in this case. It was informed that he was appointed as the ADGC by State Government at District Etah earlier. In 2020, he was appointed as the Special Prosecutor by the State government, a post he was holding till date.
Further, it was submitted that he was the owner of the house from where he was dragged by the Police. The applicant said that he had used his licensed pistol only to defend his property, which was under illegal occupation.
A crowd that had gathered around was trying illegally to possess his house, he alleged. Therefore, he used his pistol to defend himself and the property, although he injured his son in the process.
The applicant added that while he had a history of three criminal cases filed against him, he had been acquitted in two and the third set of proceedings had been dropped.
In this backdrop, he contended that are no chances of him tampering with the evidence or disrupting the judicial process.
The First Information Report in this case was lodged last year. Sharma was charged under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (member of unlawful assembly), 289 (negligent conduct with respect to animal), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant), 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
In December, the UP Police had broken down the door of Advocate Rajendra Sharma’s house in Etah, dragged him out, and assaulted him while he was in his advocate’s robes. The video of the assault had gone viral on social media, leading to widespread condemnation of the incident.
A bench led by Chief Justice Govind Mathur later took suo motu cognizance of the incident and directed the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Etah to compile a detailed report of the incident.
Advocate Prabha Shanker Mishra, appeared for the applicant, Additional Advocate General Krishna Pahal appeared for the State and Senior Advocate Dilip Kumar, assisted by Advocate Swapnil Kumar, appeared for the injured person.