Colaba man convicted for recklessly bursting crackers
Shridhar Mutlaya was convicted for careless use of firecrackers
If you plan to burst crackers recklessly this Diwali, you might just be inviting the cops at your doorstep. In a first, a magistrate court has convicted a 25-year-old student for injuring a cop at Colaba two years ago by bursting firecrackers without taking due care.

While delivering the judgement, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate M S Bodhankar observed that it is the responsibility of those using fireworks to ensure that it doesn’t cause harm to anyone. Shridhar Mutlaya was held guilty under IPC sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).

“When such crackers were burst, it was the duty of the accused to see that nobody is injured out of such an act. However, the injuries sustained by the cop show that the accused had not taken care depicting rashness and negligence on his part,” Bodhankar said.

It was the prosecution’s case that on November 16, 2012 Mutlaya was bursting crackers about 20 feet from Colaba police station when a policeman approached him around 9.15 pm and asked him not to light fireworks on such a crowded street. Despite the warning, Mutlaya continued to do so, and as luck would have, the same officer was injured in his left leg and right hand because of the crackers.

The cop, Samdani Sayyed, then was then taken to St George’s Hospital by his colleagues where he was treated for burn injuries. The court examined four witnesses including the victim and his colleague, Asim Sandey, as eyewitnesses. The other witnesses examined by assistant public prosecutor Wajid Shaikh were Dr Farhan Ahmed and investigating officer Shrikant Karkar.

While defending himself through advocate O P Shukla, Mutlaya argued that the victim was an ‘interested’ witness. The court dismissed this argument saying his version was corroborated by the other police officer. The court further pointed out that the policemen had taken no precautionary measures, and the doctor who examined them might have been present at the time of examination but was not the one who conducted it. While the court held that the medical certificate was not conclusive, the oral testimonies of witnesses were relied upon.

The maximum punishment Mutlaya attracted was up to six months with or without fine, but the judge observed that the accused was a student and the only earning member of his family and released him after due admonition.