Court releases Indian national in feud with female guard

Senior Resident Magistrate Wanangwa Nyirenda has released on bail a 31-year-old man of Indian origin Adil Patel who was arrested last Friday after being involved in physical altercation with a female guard at City Mall`s KFC premises in Lilongwe.

Among other bail conditions, the Court has directed that Patel pay K10,000 cash bond and one reliable and traceable surety bonded at K300,000 including surrendering all his travelling documents and report to nearest police station on Tuesdays weekly.

However, despite being released on bail, defense layer Oscar Taulo applied for reconciliation process, an application which the State eventually objected arguing that the accused has denied the charge.

“As you may understand, every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty so my client is innocent until the court might find otherwise so on that basis, we proceeded to make an application to the court to release him [Patel] on bail pending the commencement of the trial which the court has granted.

“The law allows even where the accused has pleaded not guilty to do reconciliation, by the way, doing reconciliation does not mean that one has admitted the offence but it’s like amicable settlement,” said Taulo.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) through its Secretary General Madalitso Njolomole has condemned the conduct and has since called upon all employers and employees in the country to follow proper procedures for addressing workplace grievances and complaints.

“MCTU condemns the behavior which is against the labour laws of Malawi and ILO conventions in particular C155 and C190 among others that places responsibility on employers to ensure a healthy and safe working environment free from harassment and violence of any form including the case in question.

“Workers too have a responsibility to obey all workplace procedures including on grievance handling. MCTU will follow up this case with keen interest and ensure that justice prevail,” reads the statement in part.

Another statement issued by Secretary for Labour Dickson Chunga warned that Government will not spare anyone [both employers and employees] who violates labour laws or engaged in criminal activity at work saying that those that break the laws will be prosecuted and punished.

According to Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, Promotion of reconciliation discusses that in all cases a court may, without formality, promote reconciliation and encourage and facilitate the settlement in an amicable way of proceedings for common assault.

Or for any other offence of a personal or private nature not amounting to felony, and not aggravated in degree, on terms of payment of compensation or other terms approved by the court and may thereupon order the proceedings to be stayed or terminated.

Hearing of the matter has since been adjourned to June 16, 2021.

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