‘Bail Is A Rule, Jail Is An Exception’ : Delhi Court Grants Bail To Journalist Mandeep Punia Arrested During Farmers Protest Coverage

first_imgTop Stories’Bail Is A Rule, Jail Is An Exception’ : Delhi Court Grants Bail To Journalist Mandeep Punia Arrested During Farmers Protest Coverage Sparsh Upadhyay2 Feb 2021 3:58 AMShare This – xFreelance Journalist Mandeep Punia, who was detained on 30th January 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…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginFreelance Journalist Mandeep Punia, who was detained on 30th January 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.The operative portion of the court order said :”It is pertinent to mention here that the alleged scuffle incident of present case is of around 6.30 PM. 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. Hence, there is no possibility that accused/applicant can able to influence any of the police officials.Admittedly, the accused is a freelancer journalist. More so, no recovery is to be effected from the accused person and keeping the accused further in Judicial Custody would not serve any cogent purpose. It is well settled legal principle of law that “bail is a rule and jail is an exception”. Hence, considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the present case,submissions on behalf of both the parties as well as keeping in view the period of detention of the accused in judicial custody,he is admitted to bail on furnishing bail bond in a sum of Rs.25,000/- along with one sound surety in the like amount”The Bail Application was filed on behalf of Punia through Advocates Sarim Naved, Akram Khan & Kamran Javed. Averments in the Bail Plea No information was given to family members until late last night regarding his detention or possible arrest. The Offences under Sections 186, 332, 353 r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code are not made out against him. The offences against him would be covered within the Judgment of the Apex Court in Arnesh Kumar vs State Of Bihar & Anr (2014) 8 SCC 273 being punishable by less than 7 years imprisonment. FIR registered at around 01:21 AM (on 31st January), despite him being allegedly part of a scuffle at around 06:40 PM the previous evening i.e., on 30th January. In such a simple case where the accused is allegedly apprehended on the spot and where the complainant and alleged victim are police officers, this approximate seven-hour delay has to be considered significant. Punia was merely carrying out his journalistic duties and another Journalist was detained along with him but was released around midnight. Accused is a freelance journalist and that is why he was not carrying a press cared, but this could be no ground to arrest him. Background Freelance Journalist and contributor for the Caravan magazine, Mandeep Punia, was detained on 30th January from the Singhu border at the site of farmers protests. 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.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 Editors Guild of India had condemned his arrest as an attempt to gag media. 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. 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. Click Here To Download OrderRead OrderNext Storylast_img