The High Court on Wednesday stayed the arrest of Uber driver Shefeeq who was allegedly assaulted by three women in Kochi last week.
The court directed to stay the arrest while considering the anticipatory bail plea moved by him. Police had booked him on a complaint by one of the women who claimed that the driver had assaulted her.
The court reportedly criticised the police for booking the driver. It also directed the Sub Inspector (SI) of Maradu, Antony Joseph Netto, to submit a report explaining the circumstances under which Shefeeq was booked. Further action in the case will be taken based on the report.
SI Netto told TNM that the offences charged on the driver were bailable. “He was booked as we got information from a private hospital in Kochi that one of the women, who allegedly assaulted him was admitted in the hospital. The hospital informed us over phone that she was taking treatment, then we took her statement based on which the driver was booked,” he said.
“What the police followed was a normal procedure. All the offences were bailable and we have been investigating the case. There was no move to arrest him,” he added.
Police booked him under Sections 294 (b)(singing, reciting or uttering any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means).
The incident happened on September 20 at Vytilla, a busy junction in Kochi.
The three women identified as Angel Mary (36), Sheeja Afsal (30) and Clara Shibin (28) were arrested by Maradu police on September 20 for allegedly assaulting and trying to disrobe Shefeeq. They were later released on bail.
Just the next day, police booked Shefeeq on the statement of Clara Shibin.
The women opted for cab sharing, but wanted the car for themselves. They allegedly beat up Shefeeq when he refused to evict the passenger who was sitting in the car.