Assam court drops two charges against Jignesh Mevani in assault case

A court in Assam’s Barpeta district on Tuesday dropped charges of obscene acts and assault of a public servant from a case against Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani.

The case pertains to the alleged assault of a woman police officer while she, along with other senior officers, was escorting Mevani from Guwahati airport to Kokrajhar in April last year after his arrest.

Mevani, a Congress leader, was first arrested on April 19 from Palanpur in Gujarat, and was brought to Kokrajhar where a case was registered against him for tweeting about PM Narendra Modi.

Soon after he was released in that case on bail, he was arrested in another case lodged at the Barpeta Road police station on April 25, in which he was accused of assaulting the female police officer. The court in Barpeta granted him bail on April 29.

Though IPC sections 294 and 353 were dropped from the second case, Mevani will have to face proceedings for the other charges levelled against him.

Section 294 deals with any obscene act in public place, while section 353 is for assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of duty.

Mevani’s advocate Billal Hussain said, “We know that these two sections have been dropped against him. But we are yet to receive the certified copy. We will know details only after we get it.”

Outside the court, Mevani told reporters he has full faith in the judiciary.

“My discharge application was taken up by the court today. The court has dropped IPC sections 294 and 353 from the case against me. Now, the case will go forward as per other sections registered,” he said.

The Congress leader said the next date for hearing will be in October, and he will again appear for it.

“I respect the judiciary and have faith in it. I will face all legal procedures,” he added.

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