Court awards 3-month jail to Maha minister in cop assault case

A court here on Thursday sentenced Maharashtra minister Yashomati Thakur to three months rigorous imprisonment in an eight-year-old case of assault on a policeman and also imposed a fine of Rs 15,500.
The district and sessions court also convicted three others in the case, including a driver of the Women and Child Development Minister, and awarded them three months rigorous imprisonment.
They were also fined Rs 15,500 each by the court of district and sessions judge Urmila Joshi.
The minister, a Congress leader, and the trio will have to undergo additional one-month jail if they fail to pay the fine, the court said.
Judge Joshi held Thakur, her driver and two workers guilty of beating up an on-duty policeman who stopped her vehicle on a one-way lane.
According to the prosecution, the incident took place around 4.15 pm on March 24, 2012, in the Chunabhatti area under Rajapeth police station in Amravati.
Thakur, who is also guardian minister of Amravati district, said she will move the Bombay High Court against the lower court’s verdict.
According to the chargesheet, Thakur, her driver Sagar Suresh Khandekar, workers Sharad Kashirav Jawanjal and Raju Kisan Ingle, allegedly beat up traffic policeman Ulhas Raurale when he stopped her vehicle from entering a one-way lane.
The incident took place when Thakur, then an MLA, was moving in her vehicle along with her aides.
When the traffic cop noticed her vehicle entering a lane from Chunabhatti to Gandhi Chowk here, he stopped it.
Raurale told the legislator her vehicle can not use the road stretch as it was for one-way traffic and the car was entering from the wrong side, the chargesheet said.
Angered by this, Thakur and her aides alighted from the car and started arguing with Raurale. They allegedly held him by the collar and beat him up, the prosecution said.
Raurale lodged a complaint with the Rajapeth police station against Thakur, her driver and two others.
A case was registered under IPC sections 353 (assault on or use of criminal force against a public servant in order to deter him from discharging his duty), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 186 (obstructing any public servant in discharge of his public functions and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) against the four.
A chargesheet was filed in the court after investigation.
Judge Joshi examined five witnesses in the case and one of them, a cop, turned hostile during trial.
Accepting the deposition of the witnesses and arguments of the prosecution, the judge found all the four accused guilty.
The court also directed the city police commissioner to take action against the cop who turned hostile.
Reacting to the verdict, Thakur said, “I have always respected the judiciary as I am myself a lawyer. As such, it will not be proper for me to comment upon the judgement.
“But we are going to move to the High Court for justice. I can only say at this moment that truth shall prevail.”
On the possible demand for her resignation, Thakur said she was aware the opposition BJP would seek her ouster from the cabinet.
“They only have this much work. My fight with the BJP is a battle of ideas. It (BJP) is out to end my political career, but I shall continue my fight against the BJP,” she said.