The bail plea of Mohammed Nalapad Haris, former general secretary of the Bengaluru city Youth Congress and son of Congress MLA NA Haris, was rejected on Friday.
Bengaluru's City Civil and Sessions Court also refused the bail plea of six accomplices of Nalapad, identified as Arun Babu (28), Manjunath (31), Mohammed Afras Ashraf (23), Balakrishna (25), Abhishek (23) and Nafi Mohammed Nasir.
They are all accused of assaulting 24-year-old Vidwath Loganathan.
24-year-old Vidvat, assaulted allegedly by #Bengaluru district youth congress general secretary Mohd Harris Nalapad, son of CongressMLA NAHarris, reportedly for not obeying nor apologising when asked to fold his outstrethed fractured leg at an upmarket restaurant #Bengaluru @ndtv pic.twitter.com/Gf8PM60okf— Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) February 18, 2018
"There are clearly prima facie ingredients of Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code," the court ruled.
Nalapad and his aides have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the severest of which is Section 307 (attempt to murder), which is a non-bailable offense. The strictest punishment a person convicted under this section can get is imprisonment for life.
Judge B Parameshwara Prasanna of the LXII Additional City Civil and Sessions Court observed that there has been no positive recovery in the condition of the victim even after he was shifted from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Mallya hospital to the ward.
The judge also reprimanded Nalapad and his aides and said: "By considering the nature of accusations against [the] petitioner, nature of evidence in support thereof, the nature of injuries sustained by the victim, pendency of further investigation, reasonable apprehension of witnesses being tampered with and the larger interest of the public and State, I am of the considered opinion that the petitioner is not entitled for bail at least till the completion of investigation."
Court expressed that there are going to be chances of witnesses getting influenced& the investigation getting coerced. Court has came to a conclusion that they don't deserve bail. It is victory to justice & society at large: Public Prosecutor on Mohammad H Nalapad's bail rejected pic.twitter.com/jfMZCqMDju— ANI (@ANI) March 2, 2018
Nalapad's bail plea had been based on a counter-complaint was filed by one of Nalapad's aides named Arun, alleging that Vidwath was drunk and had assaulted him on the night of February 17. However, Vidwath's medical reports have already shown that he wasn't in an inebriated state.
Mohammed Nalapad's lawyer had objected to the charge of attempt to murder and had claimed that these charges were included due to "political motivation and to tarnish the image of Mohammed's father."
In response, the court on Friday said: "Even though, in the complaint no specific overt act of assault is attributed to the petitioner [Nalapad], the specific overt act of assault on victim [Vidwath] by hand before assault by other assailants on his command has been attributed to the petitioner in the further statement of the complainant and in the statement of other witnesses."
Will approach HC, say lawyers
S Balan, who is defending Nalapad's six aides in court, meanwhile said he will on Monday approach the Karnataka High Court seeking interim bail.
"I am going to challenge this in the High Court while moving an interim petition," said Balan, adding: "There are many loopholes in the case, and moreover the whole issue has been politicized."
Nalapad's lawyer Tomy Sebastian also said: "There are many points which need to be reconsidered, which we will challenge in the High Court."
While a large section of social media users hailed the court's decision, a few others accused Nalapad of owning illegal weapons, and others leveled communal accusations against him.
A few even raised questions on TEDx speakers, given that Nalapad had been invited to one such talk.
Many also hailed Vidwath's father's decision to reject the offer of reconciliation from Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Here are the Twitter reactions:
Bail plea rejected #Nalapad father running around to meet top brass, people say he is a poor MLA, Allowing his son to indulge in all negative activities, and such characters should be behind bars. Nobody is above law, If proved guilty, let him serve the sentence in jail.— Suresh. G. R (@SureshGR9) March 2, 2018
#Bangalore local Court rejected bail plea of #Congress MLA Son Mohammed Haris Nalapad & 6 co-accused in assault case.— Jagrati Shukla (@JagratiShukla29) March 2, 2018
Notice #Nalapad in the pic below. How does an unarmed common man defend himself against such rowdies who get easy access (Licenses) to Arms using their influence? pic.twitter.com/SS5SsFTJxu
Just heard MLA Haris talking to media after #Nalapad bail hearing: he says victim Vidwat is influential, with support from powerful families like that of Rajkumar's.. My client is the son of a poor man, just an MLA who is under huge pressure now.. Well.. Poor man indeed!— Deepa Balakrishnan (@deepab18) February 26, 2018
Bangalore police have seized 7 guns from Mohammed Nalapad.— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) February 23, 2018
Under the arms act, one is allowed a maximum of 3 guns. With a female journo also coming forward claiming Nalapad is an Islamist & does conferences calling for India’s Islamisation, cops must probe the terror angle too.
Big blow to Siddaramaiah in Mohammed Nalapad's assault case. Victim's father rejects his reconciliation offer of public prosecutor not opposing Nalapad's bail petition. The public sentiment on the issue has massively hurt Karnataka Congress. Victim's lawyer's security tightened.— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) February 24, 2018