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Deep Sidhu case: Delhi court reserves order on bail plea

Additional Sessions Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen after hearing both the sides at length reserved the order and will now pronounce the same on April 15.

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A Delhi court on Monday reserved its order on the bail application filed by Red Fort violence accused Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the violence that took place at the Red Fort and other parts of the national capital on Republic Day.

Additional Sessions Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen after hearing both the sides at length reserved the order and will now pronounce the same on April 15. “Written submissions to be filed by the parties within two day,” the court said.

While the matter was being heard by way of videoconferencing, Advocate Abhishek Gupta, appearing for Deep Sidhu, informed the court that the transcripts of the speeches given by Sidhu have been submitted before the court as per its earlier orders.

Referring to the said transcripts, Public Prosecutor K P Singh, appearing for the Delhi Police, informed the court that Sidhu had given various interviews to electronic media where he had admitted that Sidhu was aware way before that the farmers would divert from the route.

“Sidhu has given an interview to a Punjabi channel where it’s clear about his intention to commit violence to blame our country and disregard our national flag,” Public Prosecutor Singh argued while reading the transcript.

Singh referring to another video, where Sidhu is visible at the Red Fort, said, “In this video, National flag is thrown in his presence but he didn’t say anything, do anything regarding this. He did not console the mob.”

Referring to a transcript where a reporter had asked Sidhu “Jhanda pherane kis bat ka maksad hain?” (what is the purpose behind hoisting the flag), PP informed the court that Sidhu replied, “Hum apna hak lene aaye hain. Agar aap hume humara hakk nahi denge, toh humari fauj kya kya kr skti hain wo aapne dekh lia.”

“This is threatening,” the public prosecutor argued while also adding that in the same interview he instigated flagging of Nishan Sahib. The public prosecutor further contended, “When he reached the pole where the flag was hoisted, it was done only after his instigation. This clearly shows his intention.”

Investigating Officer Pankaj Arora while appearing before the court submitted that Sidhu shall not be granted bail as he will destroy the evidence. “He has already destroyed two phones while he was on the run. Parity also cannot be a ground to give him bail because he has the main role,” Arora submitted.

He further contended that Sidhu knew beforehand that the march is going to happen. “That particular area at the Red Fort is highly prohibited. Only the Prime Minister and certain dignitaries have permission to go there,” the IO said.

Opposing the submissions made by the prosecution, Advocate Gupta argued that in the said transcripts, Sidhu is talking about unity in the protest. “He is insisting that lets be united and follow what the leadership is deciding,” Gupta said.

“Upon reading the said transcripts even if two views are possible, there is a presumption of innocence which should be in my favour,” he argued while also adding that Sidhu never stated a single word for Red Fort.

“People came from all four directions. I always talked about unity. I reached there much later,” he argued.

“On the point of slogans, how can they be incitement? As per their logic, whoever reached Red Fort that day has to be accused. This isn’t the correct position,” Gupta submitted.

Sidhu was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell on February 9 for his alleged involvement in the January 26 violence in Delhi after which was he was sent to seven-day police custody the same day. Currently, he is in judicial custody.

Read Also: Madhya Pradesh High Court considers challenge to validity of Rule 9

An FIR was registered against Deep Sidhu by the Crime Branch (Central Delhi) of the Delhi Police in connection with the violence that broke out at Red Fort on Republic Day under Sections 147, 148, 149, 152, 186, 353, 332, 307, 308, 395, 397, 427 and 188 of the IPC read with Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act, 1959 and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984. Sidhu has been accused of instigating violence as being the alleged “main instigator” in the case. 

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