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Khalistani mentions spotted in social media and mobile phone not conclusive proof of being terrorist:Punjab & Haryana High Court

The issue whether a person who mentions khalistan in his social media accounts and has contacts saved with khalistan reference is sufficient to determine if he is a terrorist was decided upon by the division bench of Punjab & Haryana High Court consisting of Justices GS Sandhawalia and Justice Vikas Suri in the matters between Amarjeet Singh @ Amar Singh v. National Investigation Agency CRA-D-226-2021 decided on 14.1.2022.

The facts of the case are that this appeal is against the Special NIA Judge’s decision denying the accused bail on the grounds that the defendant was associated with a terrorist gang in support of the Khalistan movement.He was held under section 304 of IPC, 4th and 5th of the Explosives Act 1908, with a suspect who died while in pre-trial detention in 2016. Before his death, the co-defendant made an extrajudicial confession that the appellant was with him when he detonated a test bomb. While the Special Judge rejected his application for bail, he argued that the appellant’s relationship with other detainees had been established along with treacherous intent and pro-Khalistan activities. Reliance on incriminating documents collected by the prosecution from his mobile phone and WhatsApp account was also made.

The counsel on behalf of the appellants contended he was booked simply because he had met other accused and also claimed that he was “highly radicalized”. There was nothing in the records to indicate that he was indeed a member of or involved in any terrorist gang or illegal activity. The court was informed that the applicant had been detained for 2 years and 4 months.

The counsel on behalf of the respondents strongly opposed the bail application on the grounds that the master mind who was stated to have escaped was in contact with him and had attended the bomb-making training organized by him and tested the bombs in the presence of the late Malkit Singh.It was alleged that a criminal complaint was filed against the appellant in accordance with section 13, 18, 20 and 23 of the 1967 Act, section 120-B, section 153A of IPC and section 3 and 4 of the 1908 Act dated 03.12.2018. 2020. He referred to the sketch plan of the area where the IED was detonated by Malkit Singh in the presence of the appellant and argued, therefore, that there was no case for bail due to the gravity of the crimes, in which the appellant was involved.The appeal was on condition to report to the local police station every 15 days.

Judgement reviewed by Bhaswati Goldar

Amarjeet_Singh_v_NIA

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