Advocate Midhu Dev Prem had visited the resto-bar on Saturday night with his wife for dinner. While there, the couple saw that Prem’s friends were involved in a tussle with bar staff.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Prem said that he remained with his wife until he saw a bouncer becoming physically violent and slapping his friend. He ran towards the group where he was attacked by a bouncer.
Prem said that the bouncer one Anas who was wearing brass knuckles, punched him on the face resulting in lacerations just beneath his eye.
He alleged that the entire incident was witnessed by the pub manager Ashly who did not intervene in any manner. The manager only stepped in once it was obvious that Prem was bleeding and after he saw that Prem was with his wife, he added.
Prem’s friends called the police who arrived after some time and assured him and his friends that an FIR would be registered. On the advice of the cops, Prem went to Aster Medcity.
The incident occurred at 9:15 pm and despite waiting at the hospital for hours, no police officers arrived to speak to him as promised.
Prem said that it was only after his brother-in-law, also a practicing lawyer, went to the Ernakulam Central Police Station and spoke directly to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, that the process of registering an FIR even began.
“The police were disinterested in filing the FIR. They seemed to just want to placate us while also protecting the pub from legal action that would harm its business. Watson’s is a big chain so they have influence here,” Prem added.
Ultimately an FIR alleging commission of offences under Sections 323, 324, 294(b) read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the bouncer and manager.
“We have worked in cases like this before. Usually the police would add non-bailable offences even 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide). The only reason my eye wasn’t fully damaged and that I wasn’t killed was because I saw the bouncers fist coming and turned my face away,” Prem said.
Midhu Prem’s sister, advocate Neethu Prem also said that the FIR does not reflect all details.
“Midhu had to have mild surgery later. He got 6 stitches on his face and he also had a tear on his eye, millimeters away from his pupil. It was when he was still coming out of sedation that the police tried to get his statement. The FIR which was registered on Sunday (October 1) does not reflect the complete picture at all,” she said.