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‘Bail Is a Rule, Jail Is an Exception' : Delhi Court Grants Bail to Journalist Mandeep Punia who was Arrested while Covering the Farmers' Protest [READ ORDER]

Delhi Court Grants Bail to Journalist Mandeep Punia

Freelance Journalist Mandeep Punia, who was detained on 30th January, 2021 from the Singhu border by the Delhi Police while covering farmers protests, has been granted bail by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, North District, Rohini Courts (Delhi) today.

Noting that there is no possibility that accused/ applicant is able to influence any of the police officials and no recovery is to be effected from him, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Satvir Singh Lamba granted him Bail on furnishing bail bond in a sum of Rs.25,000/- along with one sound surety in the like amount.

The Court noted that it is well settled legal principle of law that "bail is a rule and jail is an exception" and since the complainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only, hence, there is no possibility that accused/applicant would be able to influence them.

As per the FIR lodged against Punia, he has been charged under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code,1860.

Freelance Journalist and contributor for the Caravan magazine, Mandeep Punia, was detained on 30th January 2021 from the Singhu border at the site of farmers protests.

On 31st January, he was presented before Court number 2 (Tihar Jail) by Delhi Police and the Metropolitan Magistrate Akhil Malik had sent him to 14-Day Judicial Custody.

It may be noted that another journalist, Dharmender Singh of Online News India, was also picked up by the police along with Punia, however, Singh was later on allowed to go after he showed his identity card.

Hence, there is no possibility that accused/applicant can able to influence any of the police officials. Admittedly, the accused is a freelancer journalist.

Several journalists decried the arrest of Punia by saying that he was arrested after he spoke about police complicity in instigating violence during farmers protests.

The Bail Application was filed on behalf of Punia through Advocates Sarim Naved, Akram Khan & Kamran Javed.

However, the present FIR was registered at around 1.21 AM on the next day.Moreover, the complainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only.

The bail was granted to Punia duly on the above grounds.

 

 

[READ ORDER]

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