Mumbai: Wandering on a street late at night in a city like Mumbai when there is no night curfew is not an offence, a local court has said while acquitting a 29-year-old man booked by police for sitting on a road here under suspicious circumstances.

The city police had registered the case against the man on June 13 and the Girgaon metropolitan magistrate’s court passed its order acquitting him on June 16.

The magistrate said on the basis of the evidence submitted by the prosecution, it was difficult for the court to hold that the accused was trying to hide his identity to commit an offence.

The police had claimed that the man, Sumit Kashyap, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, tried to cover his face with a handkerchief while he was sitting on a road in south Mumbai. They had registered the case against him under Section 122 (b) of the Maharashtra Police Act.

The section has provisions for booking a person found between sunrise and sunset for “having his face covered or otherwise disguised with intent to commit an offence”.

Magistrate Nadeem Patel said, “The accused was arrested in Mumbai at around 1.30 am. In a city like Mumbai, 1.30 am is not too late. Anyone can stand on the road and therefore, it cannot be termed as hiding the identity with intent to commit an offence.”

The magistrate said on the basis of the evidence submitted by the prosecution, it was difficult for the court to hold that the accused was trying to hide his identity to commit an offence.

The police had claimed that the man, Sumit Kashyap, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, tried to cover his face with a handkerchief while he was sitting on a road in south Mumbai. They had registered the case against him under Section 122 (b) of the Maharashtra Police Act.

The section has provisions for booking a person found between sunrise and sunset for “having his face covered or otherwise disguised with intent to commit an offence”.

Magistrate Nadeem Patel said, “The accused was arrested in Mumbai at around 1.30 am. In a city like Mumbai, 1.30 am is not too late. Anyone can stand on the road and therefore, it cannot be termed as hiding the identity with intent to commit an offence.”

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