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Gujarat : Man gets 18 months in jail for hurling sandals at HC judge

A magisterial court here sentenced a tea vendor from Gujarat’s Rajkot district to 18 months in jail for hurling his sandals at a High Court judge in 2012, out of frustration over long pendency of his case.

Chief judicial magistrate V A Dhadhal of Mirzapur rural court on Thursday held Bhavanidas Bavaji guilty as charged under IPC section 353 (assault on a government servant to deter him from discharging his duty).

In his statement to the police, Bavaji had claimed that he hurled his sandals at the judge out of frustration over the long pendency of his case.

While noting that the act of throwing sandals at a judge is “highly condemnable”, magistrate Dhadhal refused to grant Bavaji benefits of probation, a provision of releasing convicts for good conduct.

The magistrate sentenced Bavaji, a resident of Bhayavadar town of Rajkot, to 18 months of simple imprisonment, and considering his financial condition, did not impose any fine on him.

As per the case details, the accused had hurled his sandals at High Court Justice K S Jhaveri on April 11, 2012, during a hearing.

Luckily, none of the sandals hit Justice Jhaveri.

When the judge had asked the reason for the act, Bavaji had said that he had done it out of frustration, as his case had not come up for hearing since a long time.

Bavaji was then handed over to Sola police station, which booked him under section 186 and 353 of the IPC.

The police’s probe had revealed that Bavaji ran a roadside tea stall in Bhayavadar.

When the Bhayavadar municipality asked him to remove the stall, Bavaji managed to secure a stay order against the civic body from the Gondal sessions court, following which the municipality filed an appeal in the High Court.

In his statement, Bavaji claimed that on the basis of that appeal, the municipality had removed his tea stall, rendering him jobless.

With no source of income, the accused claimed he had lost his mental balance, as he had to borrow or beg for money from others to travel to Ahmedabad to attend the hearings.

Bavaji claimed that he had hurled the sandals out of frustration, as his case was not being heard for a long time and he was “tired of coming to the High Court”, the order noted.

In his order, the magistrate observed that though it is a fact that cases are not getting disposed of in time because of pendency, that cannot be a reason for throwing sandals at a High Court judge.

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