May 4, 2021 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: “Bail not jail” is a general rule for an under trial, the Indian Supreme Court declared time and again but a Punjab and Haryana High Court judge was not bothered about it while rejecting bail application of Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara in a 15 years old case. The judge also ignored the fact that even the trail is also not taking place in that case.
The case FIR number 271 was registered against Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara on 11 July 2005 under section 121, 121A, 122, 153 read with 120B of Indian Penal Code; section 25, 54, 59 of Arms Act and section 4, 5, 6 of Explosives Substances Act at sector 17 police station, Chandigarh.
Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara’s counsel Advocate Bhanu Partap told the high court that the petitioner is in custody for last more than 15 years and till today the trial has not commenced qua him and that the other persons framed in this case have already been acquired vide judgement dated 27 May 2010.
In its judgement the court notes that “[i]t has also been noticed by the Trial Court that it had already written to the authorities of Chandigarh Administration to intimate about the status of notification under section 268 Cr P C whereupon necessary orders of commencement of trial would be passed”.
Despite noting that the trial is not taking place in this case, and the petitioner is in custody for more than last 15 years, the court denied bail application while referring to Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara’s conviction in Punjab CM Beant Singh execution case.
While dismissing the bail plea, the judge noted that: “the petitioner has been convicted and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment with a specific direction that he should not be released for the rest of his life, (and) [i]n the present case there are serious allegations against petitioner of waging war against the Government of India…”.
Commenting on the judgement coordinator of Panjaab Lawyers Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur who maintains the list of Sikh political prisoners and also is a counsel of Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara said: “[t]he case is more than 15 years old. The person concerned is behind the bars for more than 15 years. Trial is not taking place till date. There was no occurrence in the present case. There was no recovery from the concerned person. Co-accused who were facing direct charges, and from whom recovery was shown by the police are already acquitted. Even then judge is denying the bail.”
“Narrate these facts to any legal expert and he will tell you that the judgement does not merit appreciation”, said he.
“We had told the judge that the bail won’t enable Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara to come out of jail as he is already undergoing imprisonment for life; and it would only enable him to apply for parole, which again would be the prerogative of authorities, but still she decided not to grant the bail”, he added.
“The judge did not even pass a direction to conduct and conclude the trail in this more than 15 years old case. How one could justify this kind of judgement? It is clearly passed with a biased approach while sidelining the factual realities and legal norms”, he maintained.
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