Bail granted in apparent violation of Article 21: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court, on 13th December, 2022, in Jasbir Singh v/s State of Punjab (CRA-D-679-2022), granted bail to an accuse under the UAPA on grounds of violation of Article 21. The judgement was presided by Honourable Mr. Justice G.S. Sandhawalia and Honourable Ms. Justice Harpreet Kaur Jeewan.


Third bail plea of the accused was dismissed by Special Court, Amritsar. The accused was booked under Sections 295, 295A, 120, 120-B, 121-A, 153-A IPC and Section 13 of the UAPA. An FIR was filed against the accused and co-accused, Avtar Singh by the CIA staff under Section 295 IPC on the grounds of secret information that was disclosed. Subsequently, on further investigation, the phones of the accused established contacts with a banned terrorist organisation. The counsel representing the accused argued that he has been in custody since last two and a half years and no sanction has been taken under Section 1 96 Cr.P.C. for the offences punishable under Chapter VI or under Section 153A and under Section 295A IPC.


The Court held that two and a half years had gone by since the detention of the accused. It was also held that “As per the first Schedule of the UAPA, the list of groups recovered from the appellant’s phone are not in the list of the terrorist organizations and, therefore, prima facie it cannot be said that the appellant was associating himself or professes to be associated with a terrorist organization with intention to further its activities and commit an offence relating to membership of a terrorist organization.” The court referred to the Apex Court judgement in Union of India v/s K.A.Najeeb AIR 2021 3 SC 712 and concluded that it was an apparent violation of Article 21.

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