HC grants bail to MLA charged with murder bid

Jetha Bharwad

'We told the court that firing at a mob of 300 people with a machine gun would have caused more than simple injuries. The court had sought all the concerned documents. The court felt this is a case where bail should be granted

The Gujarat High Court Monday granted bail to BJP MLA Jetha Bharwad who has been charged with attempt to murder for allegedly opening fire at a mob during the Assembly elections last December in which four persons were injured.

Senior advocate Prakash M Thakkar, representing Bharwad, said justice Anant Dave granted bail following submissions that investigation in the case has largely been completed.

Since Bharwad had surrendered before the court after his anticipatory bail application was rejected and all the procedures, including recording statements, were over, the court ordered to release him on regular bail.

Bharwad landed in trouble during the second phase of polling on December 17 when he allegedly opened fire at a mob near a polling booth at Tarsang village under Sehra constituency in the Panchmahals district from where Bharwad was contesting. The MLA and his bodyguards are accused of opening fire that left four persons injured.

"His (Bharwad) main contention was that there was not any animosity between him and the complainant, and that the incident occurred due to circumstances. Following a minor altercation, about 300 people pelted stones at his car and broke its glasses. In the act, Bharwad and his personal bodyguards sustained injuries. It was under these circumstances when Bharwad ordered the guards to open fire in the air," Thakkar said.

He said the allegation that Bharwad snatched the machine gun and opened fire directly at the mob lacks conviction as out of four people, three were immediately discharged from

hospitals while the fourth one who sustained head injuries was treated at a Vadodara hospital. Thakkar said the doctors couldn't find any bullet injuries but a fragment of metallic object of less than a centimetre diameter that hit his head.

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