Chandigarh, May 24
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today set a six-week deadline for Punjab to file a detailed reply to a petition filed by scribe Bhawana Gupta and other petitioners. Fixing the case for July 21, Justice Augustine George Masih directed the continuation of the interim order bail granted to the three.
The petitioners were seeking the quashing of the FIR registered under the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC after claiming that the case was “nothing but a political witch-hunt on state of Punjab’s part”
Justice Masih, on a previous date of hearing, had asserted that initially the arresting officer and then the judicial officers proceeded to pass orders of arrest and remand in a mechanical manner. Granting interim bail, Justice Masih had asserted apparently at no stage the provisions of the statute were actually gone into or seen. The continuance of a citizen in custody without there being a mandate of law i.e. illegal custody could not be permitted.
Senior advocates RS Rai and Chetan Mittal with counsel Gautam Dutt appeared before the Bench on the petitioners’ behalf. Justice Masih added: “This court grants interim bail to the two petitioners. Mritunjay Kumar and Parmender Singh Rawat are ordered to be released on interim bail to the satisfaction of the Judicial Magistrate/Duty Magistrate, Ludhiana.”
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