Thursday, February 9, 2023

Punjab and Haryana High Court relief to Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday granted relief to Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) national secretary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga who was booked on charges of criminal intimidation and making provocative statements promoting enmity between different groups.

Bagga had moved the High Court for quashing the FIR registered against him in Mohali cyber police station on April 1.

Senior Counsel Chetan Mittal contended that on a bare reading of the statement of the petitioner which is the basis of the FIR, no offence is made out against the petitioner (Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga) . Besides, the registration of the FIR is actuated by political mala fide. He prayed that pending the final disposal of this petition further proceedings against the petitioner may be directed to be stayed.

Punjab Senior Deputy Advocate General Gaurav S. Dhuriwala countered that the allegations in the FIR are not centred on a single statement of the petitioner. The complainant has alleged that the petitioner and other unknown persons in a well-planned and orchestrated manner are issuing false, provocative, inflammatory and communally divisive statements aimed not only at outraging the religious feelings but also to incite causing harm and to criminally intimidate Arvind Kejriwal.

He stated that after the registration of the case, certain other statements/ tweets of the petitioner have come to light which also are offensive and attract some of the offences listed in the FIR. He prayed for time to file a reply and place the material on record.

A single-judge bench of Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu, while noting that the offences listed in the FIR are all punishable with imprisonment of less than seven years, directed the Punjab Government to adhere to the directions of the Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar and another, 2014(8) SCC 273.

According to this ruling, no arrest can be made without reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness of allegations. The matter was then adjourned till April 20.

On April 6, 2022, when the petition was filed, the Court stayed further investigation in the matter till the Court reached any decision.

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