ALLAHABAD: Rejecting the bail application of an accused in a chain-snatching case, the Allahabad High Court has said such crimes need to be taken seriously as they create terror among women and restrict their mobility.
"A spurt in incidents of chain-snatching is a matter of grave concern and has created fear psychosis rendering many women reluctant to step out of their home," Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh said.
The court said offenders must be instilled with a sense of fear so that women feel safe, as it rejected the bail application of one Amit of Kanpur Nagar who is allegedly a habitual offender involved in several chain snatching cases.
"Even as the chain-snatchers continue to prowl the city with repeated incidents of them targeting women, a sense of fear has been instilled in women who have now stopped wearing gold ornaments or at the most wear a very thin one that is not even visible," Justice Singh said in his order pronounced on June 29.
"Undoubtedly, rights of the accused are important", the court said, "but equally important is the societal interest for bringing the offender to book and for the system to send the right message to all in the society."
The court said that "undue sympathy" for the offender would do more harm to the justice system by undermining the public confidence in the efficacy of law.
"Such incidents need to be taken seriously and the offenders must be instilled with a sense of fear so that women feel safe and free as such incidents not only cause terror but also restrict their mobility," the court observed.
As per the prosecution, on October 4, 2020, Pushpa Devi lodged a complaint at police station Panki, Kanpur City alleging that two unknown persons snatched her gold chain while she was sitting in an auto.
Later, the police arrested Amit along with another person and recovered gold chains from them, which they had allegedly robbed from women.
It was argued by the counsel for the applicant that police after apprehending him had falsely implicated him in six cases.
However, the state counsel vehemently opposed granting bail to the applicant, contending that he is is a habitual offender and has a long criminal history of 17 cases apart from the present case.
"It is also submitted that in case the applicant is granted bail, he will again indulge in similar offence," the counsel said.