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Journalist Mandeep Punia arrested from Singhu border gets bail

ANI | Updated: Feb 02, 2021 18:36 IST

New Delhi [India], February 2 (ANI): Delhi's Rohini court on Tuesday granted bail to freelance journalist Mandeep Punia who was allegedly arrested from the Singhu border where a large number of farmers are protesting against the farm laws for over two months.
"There is no possibility that accused can able to influence any of the police officials as the complainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only. No recovery is to be effected by 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'," Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba said while passing the order.
Punia was arrested by Delhi police on January 30. An FIR registered against him under sections 186, 353, and 332 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code which is punishable with three months, three years, and two years imprisonment respectively.

The bail plea stated that the offences as alleged in the FIR are not made out against him. It said that the accused was merely carrying out his journalistic duties and another journalist was detained along with him. However, the latter was released around midnight.
"The reason FIR differential treatment given was that accused herein was not carrying a press card. The petition argues that this can be no grounds for a case or arrest. "The accused is a well-respected member of society being a journalist including being a frequent contributor to the Caravan magazine," the petition read.
On the other hand, Delhi Police said that the accused tried to mislead them during the investigation. They said that the accused was instigating the protesters with his slogans and shouting.
The police sought dismissal of bail application of Punia as he may indulge in instigating the protestors and create nuisance at the protest site with his group of different people. They claimed that he neither cooperated nor disclosed any name of his associates during the investigation. (ANI)