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UAPA Accused In Custody For Over 2 Yrs On Allegations Of Posting About 'Sikhs for Justice Referendum' On FB: P&H High Court Grants Bail

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 Dec 2021 5:33 AM GMT
UAPA Accused In Custody For Over 2 Yrs On Allegations Of Posting About Sikhs for Justice Referendum On FB: P&H High Court Grants Bail
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a UAPA Accused who has been booked for allegedly posting about 'Sikhs for Justice 2020 Referendum' on her Facebook account and who has been in custody for over two years and three months.The Bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal referred to Apex Court's ruling in the case of Union of India versus K.A. Najeeb to observe that...

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a UAPA Accused who has been booked for allegedly posting about 'Sikhs for Justice 2020 Referendum' on her Facebook account and who has been in custody for over two years and three months.

The Bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal referred to Apex Court's ruling in the case of Union of India versus K.A. Najeeb to observe that long custody would be an essential factor while granting bail under the UAPA.

"Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides right to speedy trial and long period of incarceration would be a good ground to grant bail to an under-trial for an offence punishable under the UAPA. It has also been held that the embargo under Section 43-D of the UAPA would not negate the powers of the Court to give effect to Article 21 of the Constitution of India," the Court observed.

Submissions made before the Court

Accused Deep Kaur @ Kulvir Kaur has been accused of putting up a Facebook post about 'Sikhs for Justice 2020 Referendum' and there is stated to be an audio recording of the petitioner being in conversation with co-accused, wherein she was stating that they should get a newspaper registered and carry out assassinations.

Thereafter, she was booked under Sections 307, 438, 427, 148, 149, 121, 121-A, 122, 124-A, 115, 120-B IPC, Sections 11, 12, 13, 17, 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (for short, 'the UAPA'), Sections 25/54/59 of the Arms Act and Section 66-F of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Before the Court, it was contended in her bail pela that besides her post on social media, there is no allegation that the petitioner had taken part in any unlawful activity.

It was also submitted that 'Sikhs for Justice Organisation' had been banned by the Government of India in July 2019 and the petitioner had posted on her Facebook account in May 2018 when the organization was not yet banned.

On the other hand, DSP Jitender Pal Singh, on behalf of the State contended that the petitioner had actively indulged in unlawful activities and she was a part of a group that was carrying out activities related to referendum-2020.

Court's order

The Court, at the outset, observed that the authenticity and evidentiary value of the alleged audio would be determined at the trial and that, there is no reference to any act of violence (overt) which was actually committed by any of the accused in the instant case or that any individual had been harmed in the instant case.

"The petitioner is a lady with three minor children, one of whom is about one year and nine months old and is lodged with her in jail. The petitioner is in custody for over two years and three months. Challan has been filed but there is no likelihood of the trial being concluded soon," the Court observed as it allowed the bail plea, and the petitioner was ordered to be released on regular bail on her furnishing requisite bonds to the satisfaction of the Trial Court/Duty Magistrate concerned.

The petitioner-accused has been asked to furnish her mobile number to the SHO concerned and shall also keep the location of her phone on till the conclusion of the trial.

Case title - Deep Kaur @ Kulvir Kaur v. State of Punjab 

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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