Libertatem Magazine

[Republic Day Violent Protest Case] Delhi Court Grants Bail To Freelance Journalist Mandeep Punia

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The principle ‘bail is the rule and jail is an exception was upheld in the case of Mandeep Punia by a Delhi Court, once again emphasising on the increasing importance placed on the subject of human rights in the country.


The protests on Republic Day took a violent turn and a lot of protesters were arrested. One among them is a freelance journalist Mandeep Punia. Mandeep Punia was allegedly involved in a scuffle with police officers which ended in a police official getting hurt. On grounds of these, an FIR was filed against him. The charges pressed include Section 186, 332 and 352 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. These Sections refer to

voluntarily obstructing public servant in discharge of public function, causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, and are acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.”


The main arguments put forward by the defendants represented by the Public Prosecutor was that the accused did not display proof that he was a press officer and that he was involved in manhandling, dragging and assaulting police officers. They claimed that Mandeep Punia was identified as one of the people involved in  a protest between the police and civilians in the Singhu Border which resulted in Captain Rajkumar falling into a drain

The petitioner’s lawyers argued stating that the accused was arrested on the ground of not carrying a Press Card while denying all the charges levied against him. They also claimed that there was a delay in 7 hours while filing the FIR and the FIR was available in the public domain, making it impossible to tamper with. They also contended that Mandeep Punia was in a position to instigate or influence the witnesses or complainants who were police officers due to his societal position as a well-respected journalist.

Court Decision

Freelance Journalist Mandeep Punia Gets Bail, Republic Day ProtestThe Court assessing all the evidence produced decided to grant Mandeep Punia bail. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba said that the bail can be granted as the accused could not influence any of the witnesses and complainants as they are police personnel. The Court also stated since the accused was a freelance journalist there was no recovery to be effected. Also putting the accused behind bars would not serve any purposes. The Court also took into consideration the period of detention that Punia faced while coming to the said decision. The bail conditions imposed including the payment of Rs. 25,000 as bail bond sum, one sound surety among other conditions. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgement from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also contribute blog, articles, story tip, judgment and many more and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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