A court in Maharashtra has awarded six months' imprisonment to two hotel managers for thrashing the driver and conductor of a BEST bus and threatening to set the vehicle ablaze. District Judge Shailendra Tambe, in his order last week, also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 each on the two accused, Sharad Shetty (30) and Ramesh Shetty (42), both residents of Nerul area in Navi Mumbai.
The court pronounced the two hotel managers guilty under IPC Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention). Additional Public Prosecutor Sandhya Jadhav told the court that on February 28, 2015, Mehboob Shaikh was driving a bus of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) from Ghatkopar (in neighbouring Mumbai) to Nerul. As the bus arrived near the Nerul bus depot, the two motorcycle-borne accused stopped in front of it, entered the vehicle and thrashed Shaikh and conductor Sandip Erande.
The accused, both working as managers of a hotel, also threatened and abused the bus driver and conductor. They also threatened to set the bus on fire, the prosecution told the court. Later, the bus driver and conductor lodged a police complaint following which the two accused were arrested. In his order, the judge observed that the offence was of "serious nature". The prosecution proved all charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, he added. The reason behind the offence was not mentioned in the court order.