July 30, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Kapurthala: An elderly Sikh booked by the Punjab police under draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) was granted bail by a Kapurthala court today. The applicant Joginder Singh Gujjar alias Goga was arrested by Bolath police on 2 July 2020. Police had claimed that it had received secret information from an informer about Joginder Singh after which a cases was registered against him under UAPA.
I am Falsely Implicated: says Joginder Singh Gujjar
In his application Joginder Singh claimed that he was innocent and has been falsely implicated in the case. He said there was not direct or indirect evidence to connect him with the alleged crime. He said he was an old age person, suffering from major ailments. The applicant said that the completion of investigation, presentation of challan and conclusion of trial would take long time there for he should be granted bail.
The state government filed reply though Additional Public Prosecutor along with affidavit of Bholath DSP Jatinderjit Singh. DSP told the court that 2 July the arrest of Joginder Singh Gujjar @ Goga was arrested. Till today, neither any evidence to connect accused that he is the member of the Sikhs For Justice or any other organization declared to be unlawful association by the notification by Government of India (GoI) has been came into light.
DSP further stated that no evidence that Joginder Singh ever participated or propagated the activities of Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, has came into notice, till today and investigation is going on to establish the same.
The investigation officer further submitted that application was given to Bank officials to collect the accounts of Joginder Singh but same has not received so far, and till today, except for hearsay evidence, no substantive evidence against Joginder Singh Gujjar @ Goga, has been came on police file.
What Judge Notes in Order?
In his order Additional Sessions Judge Kapurthala Rajinder Kaur noted that the public prosecutor and investigation officer have fairly conceded that except for the allegations levelled in the FIR on the basis of secret information, there is no document to connect that accused/applicant was member of S.F.J. Organization, or to consider his active participation in commission of offence under the Act.
Noting that no useful purpose shall be served by detaining Joginder Singh behind bars for indefinite period, especially in the prevailing situation of pandemic disease Covid-19, the judge granted him bail.
The court has directed Joginder Singh Gujjar to submit his passport to the court and not leave India without prior permission of the court. The court directed the applicant to furnish bail bonds of Rs. 1,00,000/-. The court has directed applicant to not to temple with prosecution evidence (which even the prosecution says is not there) and make himself available to the investigation agency as and when called, and to attend the court on each and every date of hearing.
When Will be Joginder Singh Gujjar Released?
It is expected that Joginder Singh Gujjar will be released on bail in coming days after fulfilling the bail conditions and paper work formalities.
Who is Joginder Singh Gujjar?
Joginder Singh Gujjar is an elderly Sikh aged 65 whose native village is Akala (PS Bholath) in Kapurthala district. He resides in Italy for past many years. He had come to visit his family in Punjab. The police booked him under UAPA claiming that it had secret information against him. Now police says that it has nothing to substantiate the alleged secret information given by an (undisclosed) informer. The case of Joginder Singh was highlighted by Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
Abuse of UAPA:
There has been huge outrage against use of UAPA in Punjab. Human rights groups, Sikh organisations and many political leaders, including Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and former Member Parliament Dharamvira Gandhi have been maintaining that UAPA is being widely misused by Punjab police. Even though Punjab CM claims that there was no abuse of UAPA in Punjab, the facts speak otherwise.
Recently, the Punjab police had to get a Sikh youth discharged in a UAPA case after his case had come into focus. 19 years old Jaspreet Singh of Borewal Afgana village of Majitha in Amritsar district, had been lodged in Barnala jail after he was nabbed from Sirhind Road in Patiala, according to the police.
Later, when Jaspreet Singh’s case was widely highlighted the police moved an application citing the lack of evidence against him. He was discharged by a Patiala court July 13, 2020.
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