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Mere Khalistani mentions on social media accounts of accused not proof of being terrorist: Punjab & Haryana High Court

social media accounts of accused not proof of being terrorist Khalistani

The Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case "Amarjeet Singh @ Amar Singh v. National Investigation Agency" has ruled that "some Khalistani mentions" of "offending nature" spotted in a social media account of a person will not be conclusive proof of him being a member of a terrorist group.

The observation came on an appeal filed under the National Investigation Agency Act against an order, dated February 4, 2021, passed by the Mohali NIA Special Judge, dismissing his bail application in an FIR registered on September 23, 2019. The Bench was told that initially an FIR was registered on September 5, 2019, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the IPC and provisions of the Explosive Substances Act at the Sadar police station in Tarn Taran.

The Bench observed that the Special Judge dismissed the bail application, though the applicant's name was not found in the FIR.

As per the prosecution case, it came out during the investigation that the appellant was associated with a pro-Khalistan terrorist gang to support the Khalistan movement. On account of his close association with co-accused persons, he had advocated/abetted/advised/incited the commission of terrorist offences and was also associated with the co-accused persons in testing bombs.

The Bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Vikas Suri asserted: "Mainly because there are some Khalistani mentions spotted in his social media account, which is offending, which show that there are two mobile numbers that have been saved under the title 'Guri Khalistani' and another mobile number wherein the entry reads as 'Khalistan Jindabad' would not as such be conclusive proof that the appellant is a member of a terrorist group," the Bench added.

Before parting with the order, the Bench added that the appellant had been in custody for almost two years and four months. The trial was not likely to conclude in the near future. The court, on account of the material collected against him in the investigation, was of the considered opinion that it could safely be recorded that the accusation was not, prima facie, true. He was entitled to the benefit of regular bail during the pendency of the trial.

The Bench also directed the appellant's production before the Special Court within a week to enable him to seek bail by furnishing bail bonds/surety bonds. The Special Court will impose a condition that the appellant will report to the local police station after every 15 days.

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