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"Prima Facie Accusation Not True": Punjab & Haryana High Court Grants Bail To An Accused In 'Tarn Taran Bomb Blast' Case

Sparsh Upadhyay
14 Jan 2022 1:11 PM GMT
Prima Facie Accusation Not True: Punjab & Haryana High Court Grants Bail To An Accused In Tarn Taran Bomb Blast Case
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted bail to an accused in the 2019 Tarn Taran Bomb Blast case as it recorded that the accusation against him is not prima facie true and therefore, he is entitled to the benefit of regular bail during the pendency of the trial in the case.This order came from the Bench of Justice G. S. Sandhawalia and Justice Vikas Suri while hearing the bail plea...

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted bail to an accused in the 2019 Tarn Taran Bomb Blast case as it recorded that the accusation against him is not prima facie true and therefore, he is entitled to the benefit of regular bail during the pendency of the trial in the case.

This order came from the Bench of Justice G. S. Sandhawalia and Justice Vikas Suri while hearing the bail plea filed by Amarjeet Singh @ Amar Singh, who has already been in custody for almost 2 years 4 months in connection with this case.

The case in brief

It may be noted that in the Tarn Taran bomb blast case, two people were killed and an accused, Gurjant Singh had lost his eyes. It was later on stated by the former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh that the accused were trying to make a bomb in a bottle when the blast took place. Later on, the NIA took over the case and filed its charge sheet in March 2020.

The accused in the bomb blast case moved the High Court against the Special Judge, NIA, SAS Nagar, Mohali order of Feb 2021, whereby his bail application was dismissed in a case registered against him in the bomb blast case.

The Court had noted in its order that it had come on records that the accused was associated with the pro-Khalistan terrorist gang to support the Khalistan movement and that he had advocated/abetted/advised/incited the commission of terrorist offences and was also associated with the co-accused persons in testing bombs.

Contentions put forth

The Counsel for the accused argued that as per the investigation itself, he had been named in the said FIR only on account of the fact that he had met with other accused in the year 2015-2016 and the allegation was that he had become highly radicalized.

It was, accordingly, contended that there is nothing on record to show that the appellant is a member of any terrorist gang or terrorist organization and was involved in any unlawful activity and, therefore, is entitled to concession of bail during the pendency of the trial.

High Court's observations

Having analyzed the material collected against him, the Court came to the conclusion that there is nothing incriminating qua the appellant which the investigating agency has been able to collect.

The Court also noted that though there are also averments made in the hatching of conspiracy between other accused with the present appellant, and that there is a recovery of social media accounts to show the appellant's intention towards Khalistan.

Further, the Court noted that though it was shown that some calls were made by him to the other two accused, however, apart from this, the investigation as such had not come forth as to whether the appellant as such was in touch with the other eight accused.

In this regard, the Court observed thus:

"...mainly because there are some Khalistani mentions spotted in his social media account which are of offending nature which show that there are two mobile numbers that have been saved under the title 'Guri Khalistani' and another mobile number wherein the entry reads as 'Khalistan Jindabad' would not as such be conclusive proof that the appellant is a member of a terrorist group."

Further, the Court observed that though sanction was sought to prosecute him under Section 3 & 4 of 1908 Act and Sections 13 & 20 of the UAPA 1967 read with Section 120-B IPC, however, the sanction was given under Section 13 & 20 of the 1967 Act and not under Section 120-B IPC and the sanction under the 1908 Act was granted by the District Magistrate.

Concludingly, the Court came to the conclusion that the police has not been able to show his connection with the terrorist group that was behind the blast.

Consequently, the Court, referring to the material collected against him in the investigation, noted that it can be safely recorded that the accusation is not prima facie true and he is entitled for the benefit of regular bail during the pendency of the trial.

"The appellant be produced before the Special Court within a week from today, to enable him to seek bail by furnishing bail bonds/surety bonds. The Special Court shall also put a condition that the appellant shall report in the local police station after every 15 days on 1 st and 15 th of the month at 10:00 AM before the concerned SHO, to ensure that his whereabouts as such are always ascertainable," the Court lastly noted as it allowed the plea. 

Advocate Pratham Sethi appeared for the appellant and Advocate S. S. Sandhu appeared for NIA.

Case title - Amarjeet Singh @ Amar Singh v. National Investigation Agency

Case Citation: 

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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