Chandigarh, September 29, 2023: As per media reports, The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday allowed anticipatory bail to SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, former DGP Sumedh Saini, former IGP Paramraj Umranagal and three others in Behbal Kalan firing cases.
According to the news published in The Tribune, they had moved the court on issuance of notice by the Judicial Magistrate (Ist Class), Faridkot, after the police had filed the final investigation report under Section 173 of the CrPC against all the accused.
Justice Anoop Chitkara ruled that it is not a case for pre-trial incarceration of the petitioners, subject to their complying with the terms and conditions of the interim bail bonds.
The petitioners were apprehending arrest for allegedly hatching a conspiracy for “unprovoked firing” on peaceful protesters at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in Faridkot.
Justice Chitkara ruled: “It stays undisputed that the latest SIT, despite finding a prima facie case against the petitioners accused, chose not to arrest them and instead filed a police report without arresting them. When the Judicial Magistrate concerned had directed the investigator to produce the petitioners-accused, they apprehended arrest and filed an application(s) for anticipatory bail before the Sessions Court, which was dismissed.”
“Thus, if the state was interested in arresting the petitioners during the pendency of the trial, then nothing could have stopped them from doing so because, till that time, the petitioners had no favourable order, including any interim order.”
Justice Chitkara added: “I am of the considered opinion that in case, at any stage, the prosecution gets any communication or evidence that the petitioners are influencing the witnesses or hampering the trial, then it shall be permissible for the state to file an application for cancellation of bail on that ground alone.”
“In the entirety of facts and circumstances and without referring to the evidence collected by the SIT in detail, so that it is misused by the people who propagate hate speeches and hurt religious feelings, it suffices to say that it is not a case for pre-trial incarceration of the petitioners.”
Justice Chitkara added the petitioners would not influence, browbeat, pressurise, make any inducement, threat, or promise, directly or indirectly, to the witnesses, the police officials, or any other person acquainted with the facts and the circumstances of the case, to dissuade them from disclosing such facts to the police, or the court, or to tamper with the evidence.